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Common Pain Meds May Reduce Parkinson Risk

medsUCLA scientists report that over-the-counter pain medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce a person’s risk of Parkinson’s disease. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen typically used to relieve inflammation, pain and fever.

“Given our results and the growing burden of Parkinson’s disease as people age, there’s a pressing need for further studies explaining why these drugs may play a protective role,” said study author Angelika D. Wahner, PhD, with the UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles.

The study is published in the current issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study involved 579 men and women, half of whom had Parkinson’s disease. The participants were asked if they had taken aspirin and if they had taken non-aspirin NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, once a week or more at any point in their life for at least a month.

Participants were considered regular users of aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs if they took two or more pills a week for at least one month. Non-regular users were those who took fewer pills.

The study found regular users of non-aspirin NSAIDs reduced their risk of Parkinson’s disease by as much as 60 percent compared to non-regular users and non-users. Women who were regular users of aspirin reduced their risk of Parkinson’s disease by 40 percent, especially among those who regularly used aspirin for more than two years.

“Our findings suggest NSAIDs are protective against Parkinson’s disease, with a particularly strong protective effect among regular users of non-aspirin NSAIDs, especially those who reported two or more years of use,” said Wahner.

“Interestingly, aspirin only benefited women. It may be that men are taking lower doses of aspirin for heart problems, while women may be using higher doses for arthritis or headaches.”

“It’s possible the anti-inflammatory agent in NSAIDs may contribute to the observed protective effect of the drugs, but the exact mechanism isn’t clear and further research is needed,” said the study’s principal investigator Beate Ritz, MD, PhD, with UCLA School of Public Health.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Common Pain Meds May Reduce Parkinson Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Common Pain Meds May Reduce Parkinson Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/11/06/common-pain-meds-may-reduce-parkinson-risk/1492.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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