Experts have long known that patients taking aspirin for chronic pain are less likely to die.
Now, a new study suggests that those taking aspirin are more likely to survive and have fewer serious brain injuries.
The findings may be key to determining whether patients who get the drug for chronic disease should get it for their overall health.
The study looked at brain scans of 7,200 patients who received aspirin as part of the new Parkinson’s disease prevention program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Those patients were given a prescription for two tablets of the drug.
One group took aspirin daily for the first six months of the study.
The second group took a placebo.
A third group of patients took no aspirin at all.
The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers found that the patients taking the aspirin had less brain damage than the patients who didn’t take the drug, but that they did not appear to have improved their overall risk of dying from stroke or other major conditions.
They also found that those patients who took the aspirin for the longest period of time had less damage to their brains than those taking the pill for the same length of time.
The authors of the research said they suspect the risk of brain injury from aspirin may be less than previous research had indicated.
“We’re not sure if there is a specific benefit of taking aspirin or if there’s some other factor that contributes to this benefit,” said Dr. Robert S. Anderson, who conducted the study at the University of Iowa.
“We think that aspirin may have some of the potential to be helpful in preventing strokes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
The Mayo Clinic does not recommend taking aspirin.
It recommends people with a history of stroke or heart disease take a statin drug.