Alzheimer’s disease, like most neurodegenerative conditions, has a strong inflammatory component. The importance of inflammation is one possible way to explain why Alzheimer’s risk appears to have a significant lifestyle component: Alzheimer’s disease is associated with excess visceral fat tissue and all of the choices made along the way of gaining and retaining that fat tissue. Fat tissue is a notable source of chronic inflammation, acting to accelerate all of the common process and conditions of aging. There are numerous other paths to inflammation, of course.
If chronic inflammation is important in Alzheimer’s disease, how useful is a chronic anti-inflammatory treatment? Various groups have considered this over the years, but the one noted here appears more optimistic than most – and the data is fairly compelling. As an aside, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen have been shown to modestly slow aging and extend life in a few laboratory species, though the exact mechanisms are up for debate. I normally point this out to dampen enthusiasm for any novel pharmaceutical shown to have similarly sized effects in short-lived species – one shouldn’t expect anything more interesting than NSAIDs to result,
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