NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Ibuprofen May Help Stave Off Parkinson's

Thursday February 18, 2010

Finding suggests need to look closer at the disease as inflammatory, expert says
Ellin Holohan

Business Week - Regular use of ibuprofen, a common anti-inflammatory drug, significantly lowers the risk for developing Parkinson's disease, Harvard researchers report.

People who took three or more tablets a week showed a 40 percent lower risk than those who didn't take the common pain reliever, their study found.

Study author Dr. Xiang Gao, an instructor and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said the findings are important for anyone at increased risk for Parkinson's because most people with the disease eventually become severely disabled.

"There is thus a need for better preventive interventions," Gao said. "In this context, our findings regarding the potential neuroprotective effect of ibuprofen, one of the most commonly used analgesics, on Parkinson's disease may have important public health and clinical implications."

Parkinson's is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain that control the movement of muscles. It affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, men far more often than women. The exact cause is unknown, but experts believe it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Gao said that though the drug levodopa is the current standard treatment for Parkinson's, much more is needed. He is scheduled to present the findings in Toronto at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.

The findings came from an analysis of data on 136,474 people who did not have Parkinson's at the start of the study. In a six-year span, 293 were diagnosed with the disease. Those who took the largest doses of ibuprofen were less likely to have developed Parkinson's than were those who took smaller amounts of the drug, the study found.

No other pain reliever was found to lower the risk for Parkinson's.

Dr. Michele Tagliati, an associate professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson's Disease Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, described the results as somewhat surprising and said they emphasized the need for further study.

"It's intriguing [that the finding applied to] just ibuprofen and not aspirin or acetaminophen or other commonly prescribed medications for inflammation because it implies something more specific to ibuprofen that should be investigated," Tagliati said. "So it narrows the focus to a subgroup of [anti-inflammatory drugs]."

Tagliati called the study "eye-opening." Parkinson's is not considered an inflammatory disease, he said, adding: "We might be missing something. There is more work to be done."

But in the meantime, Tagliati said, he would "definitely discuss ibuprofen use" with his patients because, if it works to protect against the disease, it could very well benefit those who already have it.

He cautioned that persistent use of ibuprofen can lead to gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, but said that, in comparison, "there is very little to lose when measuring its side effects against the effects of Parkinson's," which can include loss of balance, stiffness, hallucinations and dementia.
.

Recent News

Jul 18 - Doctors Unravel The Placebo Effect Of Fake Parkinson's Disease Treatment
Jul 15 - Parkinson's Boosts Creativity: Study
Jul 15 - How A Single Protein Could Unlock New Treatments For Brain Cancer And Parkinson's Disease
Jul 10 - Imaging Biomarker Proposed for Parkinson’s Disease
Jul 10 - Sleep Disturbances, Common in Parkinson's Disease, can be Early Indicator of Disease Onset
Jul 9 - Cinnamon May be Used to Halt the Progression of Parkinson's Disease
Jul 8 - Stanford Doctors Treat Parkinson's Disease Patients with Life-Changing Technology
Jul 7 - MRI Brain Scans Detect People with Early Parkinson's
Jul 3 - Low Accuracy of Clinical Diagnosis for Early Parkinson’s Disease
Jul 2 - Walking Improves Mood, Eases Fatigue in Those with Parkinson's Disease
Jun 27 - Northwest Parkinson's Foundation Leaves Cure to Others, Focuses on Today
Jun 26 - New Insights Could Help in Battle to Beat Parkinson's Disease
Jun 26 - More Benefits Found In Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s
Jun 24 - Using Femtosecond Lasers to Administer Drugs
Jun 18 - Bee-Venom Acupuncture Shows Promise in Parkinson's
Jun 18 - Smell Test Plus Imaging May Spot Parkinson's Early
Jun 17 - Magnetic Stimulation Improves Parkinson's Symptoms
Jun 11 - Parkinson's Disease Early Stages Detected With 'Simple' MRI; Up To 85% Accurate
Jun 11 - Fetal-cell Revival for Parkinson’s
Jun 11 - Meet the 11-year-old Girl who Invented an Un-spillable, Un-breakable Cup for her Grandfather with Parkinson's Disease