Anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce Parkinson’s disease risk

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In the first study to investigate the potential benefit in humans of the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that regular users of these drugs had a lower risk for Parkinson’s disease than non-users. More than 44,000 men and nearly 99,000 women were followed for 14 years and 18 years, respectively. Use of aspirin and non-aspirin NSAIDs (such as Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Indocin, Naprosyn) was assessed via biennial questionnaires. A total of 236 men and 179 women developed Parkinson’s disease during the course of the study.   The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was 45 percent lower among men and women who regularly used non-aspirin NSAIDs than among non-users. Regular use of non-aspirin NSAIDs was reported by 6.1 percent of the men at the beginning of the study and 3.7 percent of the women. The findings appeared in the August 2003 issue of The Archives of Neurology.