Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ibuprofen May Protect from Alzheimer’s disease

Scientists have found that taking Ibuprofen may ward off the development of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a team of investigators at Boston University School of Medicine, people who took Ibuprofen long term, specifically more than five years, were 40% less likely to have the disease. Alzheimer's protection fell to 25% with the use of other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Author Steven Vlad, MD, said in a statement from the American Academy of Neurology, "These results suggest that the effect may be due to specific NSAIDs rather than all NSAIDs as a class”.

Amyloid beta-1-42 (Aβ 1-42) plaque is a major contributor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers initiated the study to see if NSAID’s might delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting against beta-1-42 (Aβ 1-42), a protein that accumulates n the brain, interfering with electrical impulses between the neurons.

The study looked at 49,349 veterans age 50 and up, between 1998 and 2005 who developed Alzheimer’s disease. A comparison was made of 196,850 subjects from the same population, comparing the use of Ibuprofen and other drugs in the same class. Investigators observed those who did not use the medication, took it up to one year, more than one year but up to two, more than two, and up to three, and so on to five years and more. Ibuprofen and Naproxen were the most widely prescribed NSAIDS among the groups. The authors found that higher dosing and longer use provided the best protection.

For now, the results are only observational. The authors hope to see clinical trials to provide even better information about NSAID protection for Alzheimer’s disease, especially Ibuprofen. ◦