Ibuprofen as protection against Parkinson's?

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Does ibuprofen protect against Parkinson's? Doctors view US study critically.

The regular intake of ibuprofen protects against Parkinson's, according to US researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who have created an analysis of over 130,000 participant records from several health studies. Parkinson's experts, however, complain about the low informative value of the current study.

Analysis of data from 99,000 women and 37,000 men who participated in health studies found that, according to US scientists, regular use of the painkiller ibuprofen protects against Parkinson's. However, precautionary intake is not recommended due to the possible side effects, the epidemiologist Xiang Gao and his colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health warn when their results are published in the current issue of the specialist journal "Neurology".

Link between Parkinson's and anti-inflammatory pain relievers? According to the US researchers, the analysis of the data from the health studies has shown that
Ibuprofen when taken regularly (at least twice a week) lowers the risk of Parkinson's disease by 38 percent. "So far, Parkinson's is incurable. The possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively harmless drug, could be a protection against the disease is an impressive idea, ”said Alberto Ascherio of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who was also involved in the study. The health studies recorded how often the participants took painkillers and what they were. The US researchers were able to draw conclusions on the effects of so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs on the risk of Parkinson's disease. The US scientists report that other known risk factors (e.g. age, diet, smoking) have also been taken into account. A total of 291 study participants were diagnosed with Parkinson's in the six-year study period.

Reduction of Parkinson's Risk by a Third After finding a 38 percent reduction in Parkinson's risk in the first step of their data analysis, the US researchers included further studies in their investigations in a second step. Xiang Gao and colleagues report that they came to a similar result. Ibuprofen also reduced the risk of Parkinson's disease by 27 percent. Although the effect was not quite as clear, a reduction in the risk of Parkinson's by just under a third was still a considerable protective effect. However, the scientists have so far not been able to clarify exactly how the arylpropionic acid derivative ibuprofen works against Parkinson's. According to the US researchers, the anti-inflammatory effect could prevent the inflammatory changes in the brain that trigger Parkinson's. It is also conceivable that ibuprofen protects the brain cells and thus slows the progression of the disease, said Xiang Gao and colleagues.

Preventive use of ibuprofen is not recommended According to the US researchers, however, preventive use of ibuprofen is not recommended because, especially after prolonged use, serious side effects such as bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract may have occurred. According to Alberto Ascherio, further clinical studies first have to investigate "whether a slower progression of the disease justifies such risks." In addition, neurologist James Bower from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester warned doctors in an editorial about the article in the journal "Neurology" that Recommend ibuprofen to her patients for Parkinson's prevention, because the risks of side effects are too great and the informative value of the current study is too low. In addition, "there are still a lot of unanswered questions," said James Bower.

Parkinson's experts critically assess current study Medical doctor Wolfgang Jost from the German Parkinson Society also criticized the low informative value of the current study, because the manifestation of Parkinson's disease could take up to 20 years, so the study period of the study is therefore not meaningful. In addition, "anti-inflammatory drugs (...) have been attributed a small effect on Parkinson's disease", which is not clinically relevant, explained Wolfgang Jost. "While the course of the disease can lead to inflammatory changes in the nerve cells in the brain, we do not yet know whether this is a cause or a consequence of the disease," continued the critic. It is therefore questionable whether the anti-inflammatory effects of ibuprofen can protect against the onset of Parkinson's disease. Overall, the expert from the Deutsche Parkinsongesellschaft is extremely skeptical about the results of the current study.

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease As a degenerative disease of the extrapyramidal motor system (EPS) - which is responsible, among other things, for motor skills - Parkinson's disease mainly occurs later in life. The most common diagnosis of neurological disease is between the ages of 55 and 65, with the cells in the brain that produce the messenger substance dopamine dying off. Due to the lack of dopamine, the information transmission in the EPS is disturbed, which affects the motor function of the affected person in its function, which manifests itself in tremors and movement disorders. The Parkinson's Competence Network estimates that between 100,000 and 250,000 people in Germany suffer from Parkinson's disease. Every year an average of around 10,000 new diagnoses are made in Germany. The treatment of Parkinson's disease has so far essentially been based on alleviating the symptoms with medication - there is no prospect of a cure.

Side effects of ibuprofen The possible side effects of ibuprofen that the US researchers warn about in their current contribution include gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn, nausea or diarrhea, the appearance of gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers or gastric mucosal inflammation. According to the experts, the dose and duration of use of ibuprofen are decisive for the occurrence of possible side effects. A preventive use against Parkinson's over several years or decades is therefore not advisable in any case not only in the opinion of critical experts like Wolfgang Jost. In addition, hypersensitivity reactions such as rash or itchy skin can occur even at lower doses.

Parkinson's in naturopathy
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be alleviated with naturopathy methods such as relaxation, meditation, breathing and movement exercises. This includes methods and therapies such as qigong, yoga as well as acupuncture and massages. (fp)

Also read:
Treatment options for Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease: cause of origin discovered

Image: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

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  1. Harland


  2. Rodrigo

    smiled ... '

  3. Yozshubar

    I absolutely agree with the previous statement

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