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Common Meds Do Not Prevent Alzheimer’s

While earlier studies suggested a protective benefit from Alzheimer’s with use of the over-the-counter pain medication naproxen and prescription pain reliever celecoxib (celebrex), a new study fails to find a relationship.

The study, published in the in the online edition of Neurology®, involved a clinical trial conducted at six dementia research clinics across the United States. More than 2,100 people over age 70 with no signs of dementia, but a family history of Alzheimer’s disease were studied.

Participants were randomly assigned daily doses of naproxen, celecoxib, or placebo for up to four years, but most participants had received the treatments for less than two years.

Prior studies were observational in format; that is, a study design that identifes relationships or correlations that suggest further evaluation to determine if a cause and effect relationship is apparent.

The new study found neither treatment was associated with a reduction in Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

“Although our study was conducted to test the hypothesis that celecoxib or naproxen would reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, these results indicate no such effect, at least within the first few years after treatment begins,” said study author Constantine Lyketsos, MD, MHS.

The findings appear to be inconsistent with other studies suggesting reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease among people who take NSAIDs over a long period of time.

“One possible explanation for this inconsistency is that our findings relate specifically to celecoxib and naproxen, but not to other commonly used NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Or the drugs may not prevent the progression of disease in people who have advanced Alzheimer’s pathology without symptoms – the very people most likely to develop symptoms within a year or two,” said study author John C. S. Breitner, MD.

“While long-term follow-up of our study’s participants is essential, for now we suggest celecoxib and naproxen not be taken to primarily prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” urged Lyketsos.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Common Meds Do Not Prevent Alzheimer’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Common Meds Do Not Prevent Alzheimer’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/04/26/common-meds-do-not-prevent-alzheimers/783.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.