August 16, 2007 / 12:07 AM / 12 years ago

Ibuprofen may improve liver-related brain deficits

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Treatment with the commonly used over-the-counter drug ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), may reduce the impairments in thinking ability that often accompany severe liver disease, findings from an animal study suggest.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory agent that belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Previous research has suggested that inflammation plays a key role in the development of brain impairments caused by liver disease, referred to as “hepatic encephalopathy.”

In the new study, Dr. Vicente Felipo of the Centro de Investigacion Principe Felipe in Valencia, Spain, and colleagues showed that rats with hepatic encephalopathy have nerve inflammation in the brain and difficulty learning a simple maze task.

However, after the long-term use of ibuprofen, the ability of the rats to learn the maze was completely restored, the researchers report in the journal Hepatology.

These observations support “the idea that reducing inflammation would improve (thinking ability) in patients with hepatic encephalopathy,” Felipo and colleagues suggest.

SOURCE: Hepatology, August 2007.

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