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ASPREE-D: Aspirin for the prevention of depression in the elderly

  • Michael Berk (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), R. L. Woods (a2), M. R. Nelson (a5), R. C. Shah (a6), C. M. Reid (a2) (a7), E. Storey (a8), S. M. Fitzgerald (a2), J. E. Lockery (a2), R. Wolfe (a2), M. Mohebbi (a1), A. M. Murray (a9), B. Kirpach (a9), R. Grimm (a9) and J. J. McNeil (a2)...

Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.


ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.


This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.


ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Michael Berk, IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, 75 Pigdon's Road, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Victoria 3216, Australia. Phone: +61 3 42153330. Email:
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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
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