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Neuroscientists say this over-the-counter pill could ward off Alzheimer’s

Research has found that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have an elevated level of the protein called Abeta 42. Canadian neuroscientist Dr. Patrick McGeer and his wife, Dr. Edith McGeer, created a saliva test that can determine a person’s level of this protein, which according to McGeer and his team appears in the same elevated levels in someone who will have Alzheimer’s in the future as someone who already has the disease. The saliva test’s success is particularly important because it provides the opportunity to take early preventive measures, which the McGeers believe is in part a daily regimen of: ibuprofen.

The neuroscientists have committed 30 years of work to neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases at their lab in Vancouver with a special focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps the most surprising finding about the protein Abeta 42–which is indicative of Alzheimer’s disease if present in elevated levels–is that it produces at the same rate regardless of sex or age, meaning that a person can be tested at any time. McGeer suggests people get tested at age 55, when the onset of the disease would typically begin (generally commences at age 65). If elevated levels of the protein are discovered, his studies suggest that the individual begin taking daily ibuprofen at this time to ward off the disease.

A paper detailing McGeer’s most recent findings can be found in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.