A new study has suggested that patients who are at a high risk for developing Alzheimer's disease would benefit from taking a combination of vitamins E and C plus ibuprofen. This therapy appears to be of maximum benefit in people who have a mutated gene for apolipoprotein, APOE-4, which is a high-risk condition predisposing them to Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore monitored nearly 5000 elderly residents of Cache County in Utah for about 8 years and analyzed their intake of vitamins C and E, and ibuprofen. They found that there were 127 people who regularly took all three drugs. These people exhibited less decline in their mental performance, lead researcher Dr. Majid Fotuhi said at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting. "With this approach, we've advanced a two-point attack on the cascade of events that leads to Alzheimer's disease pathology," he said. "On the one hand, we reduce inflammation (with vitamins E and C), and on the other hand, we reduce the amount of amyloid in the brain (with ibuprofen), the substrate that causes inflammation." APOE-4 carriers seemed to have the biggest benefit from the combination of all three drugs. And these patients, all in their 60s or 70s did not show any decline in their mental faculties in the 8-year follow-up study. "So if patients seem to be at high risk, such as having several family members with Alzheimer's disease or with early memory loss, they are likely to benefit the most from the triple-combination therapy," the researchers said. Fotuhi, however cautions against using too much ibuprofen since it is known to cause stomach ulcers. A dosage of 100 milligrams per day appears to be enough, he said.