Statins Do Not Offer Dementia Protection
A new study contradicted earlier reports that cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) reduce the risk of dementiaand Alzheimer's disease. In the current study, reportedin Neurology (November 9, 2004), the researchersclaimed that the inconsistency might have to do withhow the data were analyzed. The study included 2356elderly participants without baseline dementia whowere in a health maintenance organization.
The follow-up phase found an all-cause dementiadiagnosis in 312 participants and a probableAlzheimer's disease diagnosis in 168 participants.The researchers noted that cholesterol-loweringdrugs did not have a major effect on the possibility ofdementia or Alzheimer's disease. The results of thestudy, however, showed that statin use was associatedwith a lower risk of "probable" Alzheimer's diseasein patients younger than 80 who also had atleast 1 copy of APOE E4, a gene mutation associatedwith an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.Yet, this relationship was not strong.