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June 4, 2003

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Alzheimer DiseaseWhat's Next?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Neuroepidemiology Section, Laboratory for Epidemiology, Demography, Biometry, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 2003;289(21):2865-2867. doi:10.1001/jama.289.21.2865

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Aisen and colleagues1 from the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) report the results of a 1-year double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial designed to test whether 2 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), naproxen and rofecoxib, slowed cognitive decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD). These NSAIDs were tested separately against their own placebo, and the authors used several analytical strategies to test for an effect. The primary outcome measure (Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale [ADAS-Cog] score, which measures the cognitive domains impaired in AD) showed no difference between the placebo and treatment groups with either of the NSAIDs. Similarly, the secondary outcomes (measures of activities of daily living, quality of life, and time to institutionalization or death) showed no evidence of a treatment effect.

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