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Ibuprofen May Protect Against Parkinson's

Risk of Parkinson's Disease Reduced 35% in Regular Users

Surprising Findings continued...

Previous studies have shown a broader impact of anti-inflammatory drugsbroader impact of anti-inflammatory drugs on Parkinson's disease prevention.

Alternately, there could be an ibuprofen-specific benefit against Parkinson's disease, he says.

Ascherio and his co-investigators plan to follow the patients for at least two more years to see if they can find the answers to these and other questions.

For now, though, "people should not change their behavior based on this study," he says.

Walter Rocca, MD, professor of neurology and epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., agrees. 'Further study is needed before we can recommend anyone take ibuprofen for the purpose of preventing Parkinson's disease," he says.

Inflammation Linked to Parkinson's

Rocca says the findings make sense from a biological point of view.

"There's quite a bit of literature suggesting that Parkinson's disease results from ongoing inflammation of the brain," he tells WebMD. As a result, there's good reason to think anti-inflammatory drugs can slow or interfere with this process, he says.

Inflammation is the body's most common response to infection or injury. Fluids seep into the affected area, making it red and swollen. This attracts immune cells that set off a barrage of chemical signals -- including pain signals.

Alzheimer's disease also involves brain inflammation. Previous studies have suggested that anti-inflammatory drugs help prevent this disease,anti-inflammatory drugs help prevent this disease, too.

Examples of anti-inflammatory drugs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin.

Earlier this month, the FDA asked manufacturers of many anti-inflammatory drugs to include warnings on labels about potential heart and stomach ulcer bleeding risks. Aspirin is also an anti-inflammatory drug but was not included in the FDA alert. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not an anti-inflammatory drug.

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