Forecast: April 2010: Surprising Remedies: Apple a Day

Surprising Remedies

| Boston Magazine |

THE BEST TREATMENTS for complex diseases may already be already sitting in your medicine cabinet or refrigerator. That’s the argument that researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health will make on 4/10, when they present to the American Academy of Neurology a study showing that patients who take ibuprofen every day are 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s. Other local researchers, too, have hit upon simple fixes to medical challenges; here are two of our favorites.

CANCER KILLER ON AISLE FOUR Aspirin is already used to prevent heart disease and stroke, but doctors studying breast cancer at Brigham and Women’s published findings in February that suggest its anti-inflammatory properties may also help control the spread of the cancer.
BRAIN-BOOSTING SMOOTHIE MIT researcher Richard Wurtman has mixed up a shake that he says boosts the memory of Alzheimer’s patients. The blend of fish nutrients (don’t worry, he adds a strawberry flavor) promotes nerve-cell growth and helps build connections between brain cells. In studies, 40 percent of those who drank the shake showed improvement in verbal memory. Currently undergoing another round of study, it could hit shelves in less than two years.