Alzheimers Home > Can Physical Activity and NSAIDs Prevent Alzheimer's?
Accumulating evidence suggests that being physically active may benefit more than just our hearts and waistlines. Research in animals has shown that both physical and mental function improve with aerobic fitness. In one study, scientists decided to see whether it might be true for humans as well.
In a study of 124 older adults, they found that those who were assigned to a walking exercise group became more physically fit than those who were assigned to a stretching and toning exercise group. As they became more physically fit, the walkers also showed greater improvements on "executive function" tests (planning, scheduling, and decision-making) than did the other group.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Inflammation of tissues in the brain is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease, but it is not clear whether it is a cause or effect of the disease. Some population studies suggest an association between a reduced risk of AD and certain NSAIDs, such as:
Clinical trials thus far have not demonstrated a benefit regarding Alzheimer's disease from these drugs. One study of rofecoxib and naproxen did not show any slowdown in the rate of cognitive decline among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease with either intervention. Another trial, testing whether naproxen or celecoxib could prevent Alzheimer's disease in healthy older people at risk of the disease, has been suspended as investigators examine data regarding possible cardiovascular risk. However, scientific interest in addressing AD with anti-inflammatory drugs remains, and researchers will continue to look for ways to test how anti-inflammatory drugs might affect the development or progression of Alzheimer's disease.