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May 8, 1996

More Evidence Links NSAID, Estrogen Use With Reduced Alzheimer Risk

JAMA. 1996;275(18):1389-1390. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530420017009

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NEW FINDINGS from a long-term, prospective observational study on aging indicate that men and women who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and women who receive estrogen replacement therapy have a markedly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

The results, reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, in San Francisco, Calif, confirm suggestions from previous studies that the agents may help prevent the disease or slow its progression. Although the investigators caution that their work shows an association rather than a causal link between these drugs and the disease, they say that hints that these agents may have neuroprotective effects against the devastating illness are promising enough to warrant clinical trials to look for definitive answers.

Earlier research suggesting a link between inflammation-fighting drugs and a reduced risk of Alzheimer disease included a 1994 Duke University study of 50 sets of elderly twins. This study found that