Ibuprofen Use Tied to Lower Risk of Parkinson's Disease

Use of other analgesics is not associated with risk of developing Parkinson's disease

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Use of ibuprofen may be associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online March 2 in Neurology.

Xiang Gao, M.D., Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues investigated whether the use of ibuprofen was associated with a lower risk of PD. They prospectively followed 136,197 participants in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up study who did not have PD at baseline, 291 of whom developed PD during the six years of follow-up. A questionnaire assessed the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The study team combined their results in a meta-analysis of published prospective studies.

The researchers found that ibuprofen use was associated with a lower risk of developing PD compared to nonuse (relative risk [RR], 0.62) after adjusting for age, smoking, caffeine, and other confounders. A significant dose-response relationship was observed between the number of ibuprofen tablets taken per week and PD risk. There was no association found between use of aspirin, acetaminophen, or other NSAIDs. The RR for ibuprofen use according to the meta-analysis was 0.73, and no association was seen between other types of analgesics and PD risk.

"The association between use of ibuprofen and lower PD risks, not shared by other NSAIDs or acetaminophen, suggests ibuprofen should be further investigated as a potential neuroprotective agent against PD," the authors write.

One author disclosed a financial relationship with Merck Serono.

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