A new study shows anti-inflammatory drugs do prevent the onset of Parkinson's disease. The study, led by Harvard researchers, shows people who regularly take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a lower risk of Parkinson's than those who did not take the drugs.
Parkinson's disease is characterized by the death of neurons in the brain. The result is a loss in motor function. Some NSAIDs appear to be protective in animal studies and they also are shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in humans. This study looked at the results of two previous studies.
The two studies involved nearly 145,000 men and women. All were free of Parkinson's disease, stroke, and cancer. About 6 percent of men and nearly 4 percent of women reported regular use of NSAIDs. During the follow-up time period, 415 cases of PD were reported. Participants who reported regular use of NSAIDs at the beginning of the study had about a 45-percent lower risk of developing PD than non-regular users.
In an accompanying editorial, Mya Schiess, M.D., from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, points out the merits and drawbacks of the study. Dr. Schiess says this study indicates a strong positive benefit of NSAIDs, however it is not yet known what the danger level would be for gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney failure.