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Ibuprofen May Lower Risk Of Parkinson's Disease

February 19, 2010, 5:07 PM by Kelli Grant

Ibuprofen May Lower Risk Of Parkinson's Disease
Many people take it for an everyday headache but ibuprofen can have big benefits when it comes to lowering your risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

A new study shows that people who take ibuprofen on a regular basis can do a lot to reduce their risk of getting Parkinson's. It also says people who took higher amounts of the drug were less likely to develop the disease than people who took smaller amounts.

Doctors diagnosed 60-year-old Anthony Luciana with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago. 

"I would be shaking, I couldn't get my wallet out of my pants, moving in general was an effort," Luciana said.

"We don't have anything that we can actually give them that will slow the progression or delay the progression of or even stop the onset of Parkinson's disease," Dr. Fiona Gupta with the Hackensack University Medical Center said.

But new research suggests that taking regular doses of an over-the-counter pain reliever may help lower the risk of getting the disease by 40 percent.

"The findings of the study are exciting," Gupta said. 

More than 136,000 people without Parkinson's took anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

People who took higher amounts of ibuprofen were less likely to develop the disease than those who took smaller amounts.
Doctors say that more research is necessary, and ibuprofen can cause irritation of the stomach lining and bleeding.

"In those who I think can tolerate it, I would definitely have a long discussion with them about starting them on ibuprofen," Gupta said. 

Luciana had brain surgery a year ago and his symptoms have improved dramatically. But he thinks that preventing Parkinson's is the key.

"We do need more research and the reason why is it's inhumane for people to have to live this way," Luciana said.

Ibuprofen was the only anti-inflammatory drug linked to the lower risk. Aspirin and acetaminophen didn't appear to have the same benefit.

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