Study: Ibuprofen Lowers Parkinson’s Disease Risk

The key to cutting one’s risk of developing the debilitating degenerative disorder Parkinson’s Disease may just be a medicine cabinet away.

A new study suggests that ibuprofen, a common pain reliever, can significantly cut a person’s risk of being afflicted by PD, whose symptoms include uncontrollable shaking, rigidity, and slowness of movement. The neurological disease, whose famous victims include Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox, is currently incurable, although some drugs can help manage its symptoms. According to the study, regular users of ibuprofen were 40 percent less likely to develop the disease. The study involved more than 135,000 men and women.

Despite the apparent benefit of the non-steroidal pain reliever, caution still needs to be exercised as the study is silent on ibuprofen’s known ill effects, which include gastrointestinal bleeding. Some studies also link regular ibuprofen intake to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

For the meantime, though, the study should be welcome news. “There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, so the possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively non-toxic drug, could help protect against the disease is captivating,” lead researcher Prof. Alberto Ascherio said.