Statins may delay effects of Alzheimer’s -study

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia in the elderly, French scientists said on Thursday.

In a three-year study involving 342 Alzheimer’s patients, they found that the illness did not develop as quickly in sufferers with high cholesterol levels who were given statins as in patients not taking the drugs.

Professor Florence Pasquier, of the University Hospital in Lille, France, said the drugs “may slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and have a neuroprotective effect.”

Nearly 130 patients in the study had high cholesterol levels. About half were given statins while the remainder did not receive any treatment.

The findings, which are reported in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, support the results of other human and animal studies which have suggested that high cholesterol levels may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s.