We've known for some time that over-the-counter painkillers can help fight heart disease. Now, it seems they may also help ward off another debilitating disease -- Parkinson's.
Harvard researchers studied nearly 150,000 men and women for more than 15 years. Those who reported using non-aspirin pain relievers like Ibuprofen twice a week or more had a 45% lower risk of developing Parkinson's compared to those who didn't take the drugs on a regular basis.
Apparently, anti-inflammatories help prevent damage to the brain cells which produce Dopamine. It's the loss of Dopamine that leads to the stiffness and tremors that are common with Parkinson's disease.
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation calls this encouraging news since Parkinson's affects one out of every 100 people over the age of 60. The study was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and is published in the August issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.