Can over-the-counter drugs reduce risk of developing genetic Parkinson’s?

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Author: Pippa Prendergast-CoatesPublished: 6 August 2020

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A new study suggests that regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen may lower the risk of Parkinson’s associated with mutations of the LRRK2 gene – a common genetic cause of the condition.

As part of the study, researchers analysed the data for 577 individuals with the LRRK2 gene mutation. They found that regular use of aspirin and ibuprofen – at least two pills per week for at least six months – was more prevalent in people who did not have Parkinson’s compared to those with the condition. Across the study, the use of NSAIDs corresponded with roughly a 66% decrease in the risk of Parkinson’s.

The researchers say that “the results of this study suggest that the regular use of NSAID medication may lower the risk for Parkinson’s among LRRK2 variant carriers … for both ibuprofen and aspirin” but more research will need to be conducted to find the optimal use.


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