Statin Drug May Slow Alzheimer's

SEPTEMBER 01, 2005

Preliminary research suggests that the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin (Lipitor) may help boost thinking ability and control psychiatric symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). The study included 67 AD patients who received either atorvastatin or placebo. The patients were evaluated using standard measures of cognitive function, psychiatric symptoms, and the ability to navigate common activities of daily living. They were also tested for changes in blood cholesterol levels. The study, which was conducted at the Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Ariz, revealed that "daily administration of 80 mg of atorvastatin calcium significantly reduces circulating cholesterol levels and may have a positive effect on the progressive deterioration of cognitive function and behavior anticipated in mild-to-moderate AD," the researchers said. Two larger, multicenter trials are currently under way to further investigate the possible benefits of atorvastatin treatment in patients with AD.