Anti-inflammatories in Alzheimer’s disease - potential therapy or spurious correlate?

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Epidemiological evidence suggests non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, clinical trials have found no evidence of NSAID efficacy. This incongruence may be due to the wrong NSAIDs being tested in robust clinical trials or the epidemiological findings being caused by confounding factors. Therefore, this study utilized innovative statistical methods to investigate both prevalence and cognitive decline in the Alzheimer’s Disease NeuroImaging (ADNI) dataset for each commonly used NSAID and paracetamol.
Use of most NSAIDs were associated with reduced AD prevalence yet no effect on cognitive decline was observed. Paracetamol had a similar effect on prevalence to these NSAIDs suggesting this association is independent of the anti-inflammatory effects and that previous results may be due to spurious associations. Interestingly, diclofenac use was significantly associated with both reduce incidence and slower cognitive decline warranting further research into the potential therapeutic effects of diclofenac in AD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Communications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Jul 2020


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