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A crack at Parkinsonís

Chicago, Aug. 19 (Reuters): Regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs appears to lower the risk of developing Parkinsonís disease, perhaps by protecting brain cells that would otherwise die, researchers said yesterday.

The risk of Parkinsonís was reduced by about 45 per cent among adults who regularly took drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) compared to non-users, the Harvard School of Public Health study said.

These drugs include Ibuprofen, Indomethacin and Naproxen ó which can carry their own risks from long-term use such as liver damage. Those who took two or more aspirin daily also got the protective effect from Parkinsonís, which afflicts an estimated 1.5 million Americans, mostly older than 50.

ďThe results of post-mortem studies suggest that inflammation is involved in the development of Parkinsonís disease and there is experimental evidence that NSAIDs are protective for the cells that are selectively destroyed,Ē said study author Honglei Chen of Harvard.

It was not known if taking NSAIDs can benefit people who already have Parkinsonís, but the drugs have previously been found to have a protective benefit against Alzheimerís, Chen said.

The study, published in The Archives of Neurology journal, employed data from two studies involving health workers ó a 14-year study of 44,000 men ending in 1990, and an 18-year nurses study with 98,000 women ending in 1998.

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