New study shows anti-ulcer drugs do not increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease
A new study by the University of Eastern Finland has revealed that use of a type of anti-ulcer drug, proton pump inhibitors, does not increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Proton pump inhibitors are commonly used to treat ulcers in older people.
The study was conducted after results of two previous studies from Germany reporting that the use of proton pump inhibitors increases the risk of dementia.
It was also found that even a higher dose of the treatment did not increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
However, the drug should be carefully considered for long-term use among older patients as it is claimed to decrease calcium and vitamin B12 absorption, as well as can cause serious intestinal infections, such as clostridium difficile.
The University of Eastern Finland studied the use of proton pump inhibitors in Finnish people with Alzheimer’s disease and compared it with a group of test patients without the disease.
The research is a part of the nationwide register-based MEDALZ study that involves all patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in Finland between 2005 and 2011.
The MEDALZ study comprised 70,718 patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease and 282,862 control patients.
Another recent study conducted by the research group from the university revealed that more than one-third of older people use proton pump inhibitors.
Long-term use of the drug is more common among those with Alzheimer’s disease than among their counterparts without the disease.
Image: Histopathologic image of senile plaques seen in the cerebral cortex of a person with Alzheimer's disease of presenile onset. Photo: courtesy of Wikipedia / KGH.