No Pain and More Gain
Ibuprofen is one of the most common generic drugs to treat muscle pain and sometimes, headache. Aside from treating these seemingly mundane pains, Ibuprofen has been associated with lower risks of developing Parkinson’s disease. So, if you are taking Advil or Motrin, you might be getting more than what you asked for – and it is a good thing.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. This simply means that it slowly destroys a person’s nervous system. Aside from this, it is also noted to be one of the most common movement disorders. People who suffer from Parkinson’s disease usually manifest progressive loss of muscle control leading to difficulty in walking, talking and other menial tasks. This disease usually affects people who are over 50 years old, however, in rare instances; they may affect younger people, as well. But, males are more likely to be affected by the disease by 1.5 times than females. Somehow, the risk is also higher for people who have a history of the disease in their family.
The claim that Ibuprofen can lead to a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was concluded by a Harvard University research team that had their research published in the journal, Neurology. Data coming from 99,000 women and 37, 000 men were used for this research. These men and women were already part of certain medical support groups before the research began. From the data of these participants, there were 291 people who were diagnosed to have Parkinson’s disease over the span of six years.
The author, Xiang Gao, of this study concluded that Ibuprofen is a potential neuroprotective against Parkinson’s disease. Xiang Gao is a Boston-based scientist and works with the Harvard School of Public Health and at the Channing Laboratory for this research. This conclusion was drawn from the previous sample population mentioned. Those who take in Ibuprofen at least two times weekly were 38% less likely to develop Parkinson’s. The study was also extended to other drugs similar to Ibuprofen and it resulted to 27% less risk of developing the disease. Apparently, this effect can not be solely attributed to ibuprofen but other pain medications, as well, like aspirin and acetaminophen.
This study is quite promising simply because there still hasn’t been any cure discovered for Parkinson’s. There are several therapies present that are given to Parkinson’s patients but these simply try to delay the progression of the symptoms of the disease. Aside from an absolute cure and treatment for the disease, until now, doctors are baffled as to the exact cause of the disease. Some believe that it is a combination of genetic mishap further triggered by some environmental and psychological factors like trauma, toxins and other illnesses. But more than this, the prognosis for the disease also varies from individual to individual. For most of the cases, the disease may lead to death because of the symptoms like loss of muscle control.
Given these known facts about Parkinson’s, the team of Xiang Gao is still trying to look for an explanation as to how Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs could help lower the risk for the disease to develop.