People who regularly take ibuprofen, an over-the-counter painkiller, may reduce their risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that taking ibuprofen, such as Advil, were 40 percent less likely to get Parkinson's disease.
The research involved 136,474 people who did not have Parkinson's disease at the beginning of the research. Participants were asked about their use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. After six years, 293 participants had developed Parkinson's disease.
The study found regular users of ibuprofen were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than people who didn't take ibuprofen. Also, people who took higher amounts of ibuprofen were less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than people who took smaller amounts of the drug. The results were the same regardless of age, smoking, and caffeine intake.
"Ibuprofen was the only NSAID linked to a lower risk of Parkinson's," said Xiang Gao, MD, with Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "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. 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 was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.