Thursday April 2, 2020

“Taking Low-Dose Aspirin May Not Reduce Risk of Dementia”, Says Study

Researchers found no difference between those who took aspirin and those who took placebo in the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or probable Alzheimer's disease

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Aspirin
Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties and also thins the blood. Pixabay

 Taking a low-dose aspirin once a day does not reduce the risk of thinking and memory problems caused by mild cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer’s disease, nor does it slow the rate of cognitive decline, say researchers.

Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties and also thins the blood. For years, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for some people to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. However, there are also possible risks to taking aspirin, including bleeding in the brain, so guidance from a doctor is important.

Because aspirin can be beneficial to the heart, researchers have hypothesised, and smaller previous studies have suggested, that it may also be beneficial to the brain, possibly reducing the risk of dementia by reducing inflammation, minimizing small clots or by preventing the narrowing of blood vessels within the brain.

“Our large study found that a daily low-dose aspirin provided no benefit to study participants at either preventing dementia or slowing cognitive decline,” said study lead author Joanne Ryan, from Monash University in Australia.

For the findings, the study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 19,114 people who did not have dementia or heart disease. A majority of participants were age 70 or older. They took thinking and memory tests at the start of the study as well as during follow-up visits.

Aspirin
Taking a low-dose aspirin once a day does not reduce the risk of thinking and memory problems caused by mild cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer’s disease, nor does it slow the rate of cognitive decline, say researchers. Pixabay

Half of the people were given daily 100-milligram low-dose aspirin while the other half were given a daily placebo. They were followed for an average of 4.7 years, with annual in-person examinations. According to the researchers, over the course of the study, 575 people developed dementia.

Researchers found no difference between those who took aspirin and those who took placebo in the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or probable Alzheimer’s disease. There was also no difference in the rate of cognitive change over time, they added.

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“While these results are disappointing, it is possible that the length of just under five years for our study was not long enough to show possible benefits from aspirin, so we will continue to examine its potential longer-term effects by following up with study participants in the coming years,” said Ryan. (IANS)

Next Story

Can AI Predict Diabetes Accurately? Find it Out Here

AI to predict future diabetes cases with 94% accuracy

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AI diabetes
Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Diabetes is linked to increased risks of severe health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Preventing diabetes is essential to reduce the risk of illness and death.

“Currently, we do not have sufficient methods for predicting which generally healthy individuals will develop diabetes,” said study lead author Akihiro Nomura from Kanazawa University in Japan. “Using machine learning, it could be possible to precisely identify high-risk groups of future diabetes patients better than using existing risk scores,” Nomura added.

For the findings, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, the researchers investigated the use of a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning in diagnosing diabetes.

AI diabetes
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Pixabay

Machine learning is a type of AI that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. The research team analysed 509,153 nationwide annual health checkup records from 139,225 participants from 2008 to 2018 in the city of Kanazawa in Japan.

Among them, 65,505 participants without diabetes were included. The data included physical exams, blood and urine tests and participant questionnaires.

Patients without diabetes at the beginning of the study who underwent more than two annual health checkups during this period were included.

New cases of diabetes were recorded during patients’ checkups, the researchers said.

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The researchers identified a total of 4,696 new diabetes patients (7.2 per cent) in the study period. Their computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

According to the authors, the next plan is to perform clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of using statins to treat groups of patients identified by the machine learning model as being at high risk of developing diabetes. (IANS)