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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ibuprofen may cut Parkinson's disease risk

A new study suggested that regular use of painkiller ibuprofen may cut the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to Reuters reports.

The research findings were published in the online edition of the journal Neurology on Wednesday and later will appear in the print edition on March 8.

The study, which followed more than 136,000 U.S. men and women for six years, showed that people who took ibuprofen at least twice a week were 38 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's, a brain disorder that causes tremors and movement problems, compared to those who didn't take the pain reliever so often.

Ibuprofen is sold in the U.S. as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). But the study didn't prove that other NSAIDS, like aspirin or naproxen, could also cut the Parkinson's risk.

"Our study suggests ibuprofen could be a potential neuroprotective agent against Parkinson's," says lead researcher Dr. Xiang Gao from Harvard Medical School, "Protective effects are seen after taking ibuprofen two or more times a week. That's so-called regular use."

However, he also warned that no proof has been found that ibuprofen itself can help ward off Parkinson's, and said that it's too early to recommend people to start taking ibuprofen to protect against the disorder.

Gao said, "We just see an association, not some causal relationship."

Besides, regular ibuprofen use has risks, like stomach bleeding and kidney damage.

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