Statins May Delay Alzheimer's Effects

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

Cholesterol-lowering drugs mayhelp delay the progression ofAlzheimer's disease (AD), accordingto the results of a study from theUniversity Hospital in Lille, France. Formore than 3 years, researchers therestudied 342 patients with the disease,234 of whom had high cholesterollevels. About half of thesepatients were given statins, and therest received no treatment. Theinvestigators found that the illnessdid not progress as quickly inpatients taking statins for their highcholesterol levels as it did in theirpeers who did not take statins.

Professor Florence Pasquier of theUniversity Hospital said that the drugs"may slow cognitive decline in [AD]and have a neuroprotective effect." The findings were reported in theDecember 2005 issue of the Journal ofNeurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.They support the results ofother studies that have suggestedthat high cholesterol levels may play apart in the progression of AD.

An editorial published in the journalregarding the study, however, claimsthat there still is no evidence thatlowering cholesterol will slow theprogression of AD once it has started.The writer states that further studiesneed to be conducted to confirm theusefulness of statins in the treatmentof AD.