Ibuprofen May Reduce Risk of Parkinson's
Study Shows the Painkiller May Have Benefits in Preventing Parkinson's Disease
Feb. 17, 2010 -- People who take ibuprofen may be nearly 40% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, according to a new study.
Researchers found the pain reliever was the only one in the popular class of
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) studied that had any effect on
risk of Parkinson's disease.
"Other NSAIDs and analgesics, including aspirin and acetaminophen, did not appear to have any effect on
lowering a person's risk of developing Parkinson's," says researcher Xiang Gao,
MD, with Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, in a news
release. "More research is needed as to how and why ibuprofen appears to
reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, which affects up to one million people
in the United States."
The study, to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of
Neurology in April, looked at whether use of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs was
associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in 136,474 men and women in
the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study. No
participants had Parkinson’s at the start of the study.
During six years of follow-up, 293 cases of Parkinson's disease were
Researchers found users of ibuprofen were nearly 40% less likely to develop
Parkinson's disease than those who didn't take ibuprofen. The study also found
that people who took more tablets of ibuprofen per week were less likely to
develop Parkinson's disease than those who took less.
These effects of ibuprofen on the risk
of developing Parkinson's disease remained the same regardless of
factors such as age, smoking status, and caffeine use.
The study's results don't
establish a direct cause-effect relationship between ibuprofen and Parkinson's
disease. Ibuprofen, like other NSAIDs, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding
and affect the kidneys. The researchers conclude that more study is needed to
determine whether ibuprofen can offer prevention against