Home Forums General Medicine Statins Reduce the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

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    Here is yet another article commending the use of statins. The study indicates that taking statins may substantially reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A review of 400,000 patients established that those who took the tablets regularly slashed their chances of succumbing to the condition by between 12 and 15 per cent.

    Scientists behind the study say the link may be explained by an interplay between cholesterol, which is regulated by the drug, and beta-amyloid, which plays a role in dementia, or that an anti-inflammatory property of statins themselves could be protecting against the disease.

    Professor Julie Zissimopoulos,who led the research at the University of Southern California said The right statin type for the right person at the right time may provide a relatively inexpensive means to lessen the burden of Alzheimer’s. The new research has prompted a fierce debate in the scientific community, however, with experts warning the evidence does not prove that dementia is prevented by statins, which are taken by about 8 million people in the UK.

    Researchers at the University of Southern California examined the records of people who took the pills every day and identified a 12 per cent reduced risk in men and a 15 per cent reduced risk in women compared to those also prescribed statins but who took them more sporadically. The trend applied to most ethnic and gender groups, although not to black men. The research team also examined the potential roles of different types of statin and found that pravastatin and rosuvastatin were particularly associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s in white women.

    Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have now replaced heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, new figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed last month. Last year, 61,686 (11.6%) out of a total of 529,655 deaths registered in England and Wales were attributable to dementia.[quote]Above the age of 65, a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles roughly every 5 years and it is estimated that dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80.
    Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Previous research has attempted to find out whether using statins to lower cholesterol can alter a person’s risk of developing dementia but these studies have produced mixed findings.

    “This new study goes some way towards clearing up this confusion by analysing large amounts of existing data of people who use different types of statins over a long period of time. Alzheimer’s Research UK said the research such as the study published in JAMA neurology identified “important trends”, but said the best protection against neurological decline remained a good diet and regular exercise.

    The report was filed by Henry Bodkin from the Science section of The Telegraph

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