Gee, I was just getting ready to be all huffy about a recent article I read in The Globe and Mail. It was a Reuters story about a press release from The American Academy of Neurology. It reported that people who took over-the-counter anti-inflammatories had a diminished risk of developing Parkinson's disease. No mention that these same meds, taken regularly, might have serious side-effects. No mention that those taking coumadin or other anticoagulants should avoid these meds. No mention that people with cardiac or renal disese are at risk. What irresponsible reporting. But before I got all self-righteous I thought I should at least check out the actual press release from the Academy and to my surprise, I found that the reporting was pretty accurate. It was the release from the Academy that was unbelievably cavalier in its diffusion of the results from the Neurology journal.
“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,” said Wahner. “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.”
Sure, take the higher doses if you really want to avoid Parkinson's. And why not a little ibuprofen for good measure, even if it might eliminate the anti-platelet effect of the aspirin, give you an ulcer, and send your blood pressure into the stroke zone. Friendly advice from the Academy of Neurology.