Regular use of the pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may delay or prevent the onset of Parkinson’s disease, according to data from roughly 147,000 U.S. men and women enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutritional Cohort.
In 1992, subjects provided information on four types of commonly used analgesics. In 2001, they provided information on the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers detected 413 cases of Parkinson’s disease during follow up.
“We found that individuals who regularly used ibuprofen had about a 35 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than non-users,” Dr. Alberto Ascherio, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told.
Specifically, compared to those who did not use NSAIDs, users of 2 to 7 ibuprofen tablets per week had about a 28 percent reduced relative risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, while those who reported using 1 or more tablets per day had a 38 percent reduced risk of Parkinson’s.
No associations were observed between the risk of PD and the use of aspirin, other NSAIDs, or acetaminophen.
“These findings suggest that ibuprofen could contribute to the prevention of Parkinson’s disease,” Ascherio said. “Because of the progressive nature of the degenerative process, it is also possible that this drug could be beneficial for individuals with Parkinson’s, but this should be tested in randomized clinical trials.”
“It would be premature for people with Parkinson’s disease to start taking ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory drugs,” Ascherio cautioned. “Albeit promising, these findings are insufficient to support a change in current therapeutical practice.”