It?s just possible that Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, and other statins can reduce mental impairment in the elderly. Commenting on her recent study of white women in their 70s suffering from heart disease, Dr. Kristine Yaffe, chief of geriatric psychiatry at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said, ?Our results support the hypothesis that statins may prevent Alzheimer?s disease.? It is thought that high cholesterol promotes the clumping of the protein beta-amyloid, a component of the neurofibrillary tangles and plaques characteristic of Alzheimer?s disease. However, researchers said it is not clear whether the results would be the same for nonwhite women or men or for anyone without heart disease. Published in the March 2002 issue of the Archives of Neurology, Dr. Yaffe?s 4-year study notes that more work is needed.