Researchers are questioning the link between certain pain relievers and the onset of a disease that leads some senior citizens and their families to consider Alzheimer's care.
Veterans Affairs Dr John Breitner and his cohorts studied 2,700 senior citizens who did not have dementia for a 12-year period.
Of the participants, roughly 450 people used pain relievers called NSAIDs that contained ibuprofen or naproxen at a heavy rate, or having prescriptions for more than 60 percent of a two-year period.
The researchers found that the risk of dementia onset in those users, who had an average age of 75, was actually 66 percent higher than those who used the pain relievers less frequently or not at all.
"It has been argued for some time that NSAID use delays the onset of Alzheimer's disease," said Breitner.
"It would follow that studies looking at younger people who use NSAIDs would show fewer cases of Alzheimer's, while in groups of older people there might be more cases, including those that would have occurred earlier if they had not been delayed."
But the results led the authors to call for more studies to detail the effects of the medicines, adding that they can't say whether the medicines delay or have another effect on the disease.