Home » Disorders » Bipolar Disorder » Mixed Finding on Cholesterol Drugs and Alzheimer’s

Mixed Finding on Cholesterol Drugs and Alzheimer’s

PillsA new report contradicts prior studies that suggested statins, a revolutionary class of drugs that lowers cholesterol, can also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Investigators studied 929 Catholic clergy members who were an average of 75 years old, free of dementia at the beginning of the study and enrolled in the Religious Orders Study, an ongoing study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

All of the participants agreed to a brain autopsy at the time of their death and underwent annual cognitive tests for up to 12 years.

At the beginning of the study, 119 people were taking a statin. During the 12-year follow-up period, 191 people developed Alzheimer’s disease, of whom 16 used statins at the start of the study.

“Some studies have suggested people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, but our longitudinal findings found no relation between statin use and Alzheimer’s,” said study author Zoe Arvanitakis, MD, MS, Associate Professor of the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“The study also found no association between taking statins and a slower cognitive decline among older people.”

In addition, researchers performed brain autopsies on more than 250 people who died during the study to examine the relation of statins to Alzheimer’s disease pathology and stroke in the brain, the two common pathological causes of dementia. The study found statin use at any time during the course of the study had no effect on pathology of Alzheimer’s disease or strokes.

Arvanitakis says the study is limited in that there were relatively few statin users among those who died. She says future studies will need to look at the possibility of associations of statins with other pathologic changes of Alzheimer’s disease not examined in this study.

The new research published in the January 16, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Mixed Finding on Cholesterol Drugs and Alzheimer’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Mixed Finding on Cholesterol Drugs and Alzheimer’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/01/17/mixed-finding-on-cholesterol-drugs-and-alzheimers/1797.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.