Study: Ibuprofen reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

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Study subjects who took ibuprofen for at least five years registered a 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. Some medicines in the same non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) class cut the risk of Alzheimer's by 25%.

The key was the length of use, said researchers who also emphasized that individuals should not start taking ibuprofen in an effort to prevent Alzheimer's.

"Some of these medications taken long-term decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but it's very dependent on the exact drugs used. It doesn't appear that all NSAIDs decrease the risk at the same rate," said Dr. Steven Vlad of the Boston University School of Medicine. His study results appear in the journal Neurology.

Because the study involved nearly a quarter-million seniors, researchers said they were able to pinpoint effects better than in the past.

"What's new here is that where other studies have shown that NSAIDs as a class are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, we have shown that the risk varies by the individual drug," Vlad said. He advocated further, isolated studies.

The longer a person took ibuprofen beyond five years (sold under many brand names, including Advil and Motrin), the lower his or her risk of developing Alzheimer's, researchers found.