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NSAIDs fail Alzheimer’s trial


Prescribers have been advised against certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease after a study found that the drugs had no positive effect on cognitive function.

Previous observational research had suggested that patients who used NSAIDs had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It had been thought that inflammatory processes exacerbated the decline of cognitive function and helped develop the neurodegenerative disease.

The study, by the Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT) research group in the US, examined the effect of two NSAIDs – naproxen (brands include Aleve, Synflex, Naprelan) and celecoxib (brands include Celebrex and Celebra) – on cognitive ability in the elderly.

More than 2,500 people aged 70 and over took part in the study, published in the Archives of Neurology.

Researchers found that the use of NSAIDs did not have a preventative effect on patients, and may even result in cognitive scores being lower.

They recommended continued follow-up of participants after treatment in order to find out if there are any further delayed timing effects. In the meantime they advise that “naproxen and celecoxib should not be used for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease”.

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Archives of Neurology

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