Ibuprofen is a drug that’s commonly used to treat things like headaches and muscular pain, but new research shows that it could also be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the research team, led by Dr. Patrick McGeer, CEO of Aurin Biotech in Canada, said ibuprofen could prevent the development of Alzheimer’s in individuals with high levels of Abeta 42.
Abeta 42 is a peptide that’s present in saliva which people who are at risk of Alzheimer’s have higher levels of.
Because Abeta 42 triggers an inflammatory response, the researchers say ibuprofen, a widely-used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), could be used to halt the process. Furthermore, a simple saliva test would be enough to identify people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
"What we've learned through our research," reports Dr. McGeer, "is that people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's exhibit the same elevated Abeta 42 levels as people who already have it; moreover, they exhibit those elevated levels throughout their lifetime so, theoretically, they could get tested anytime."
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 5.7 million adults in the United States alone. However, this figure is predicted to rise to almost 14 million by 2050.