Some 579 men and women, half of whom had Parkinson’s, were questioned over their use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
And the study published in the journal Neurology found taking non-aspirin NSAIDs on a regular basis dramatically cut the chance of developing the disease.
Parkinson’s affects about 120,000 people in the UK, and 10,000 new cases are diagnosed every year among the over-50s.
Leading author Dr Angelika Wahner, from the University of California, said: “Our findings suggest NSAIDs are protective against Parkinson’s disease, with a particularly strong protective effect among regular users of non-aspirin NSAIDs, especially those who reported two or more years of use.
“Interestingly, aspirin only benefited women. It may be that men are taking lower doses of aspirin for heart problems, while women may be using higher doses for arthritis or headaches.”
Dr Beate Ritz, another member of the research team from the UCLA School of Public Health, added: “It’s possible the anti-inflammatory agent in NSAIDs may contribute to the observed protective effect of the drugs, but the exact
mechanism isn’t clear and further research is needed.”
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