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‘Painkillers cut Parkinson’s Risk’

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What did the papers say?

Newspapers reported that a study had found aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen reduced the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

What did the research show?

The study, conducted on 293 patients in the US, showed that newly-diagnosed patients taking aspirin more than twice a week were 20% less likely to develop Parkinson’s.

It added that patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen were almost half as likely to develop the condition. Those using NSAIDs for more than two years only had a 44% chance of developing the disease.

What did the researchers say?

The authors concluded that the study contributes to a growing body of literature suggesting a protective role for NSAIDs in Parkinson’s disease. They called for further studies to discover the protective role for the role NSAIDS may play.

What does it mean for nursing practice?

Unfortunately, the experts in the field claimed there were several flaws in the research. There was no indication how the study had measured progression of the disease, they said and the sample size was small. Larger studies had failed to find that aspirin or NSAIDs protected against aspirin.

Mel Phillips, advisory nurse at the Parkinson’s Disease Society helpline, said: ‘I don’t think it will affect nursing care. If someone needs aspirin for a stroke then they should continue taking it. But we will not be advising them to take it as medication for their Parkinson’s.’

Neurology (2007) 69: 1836-1842

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