In this study of statins to help Alzheimer’s patients, they claim that the medations helped by increasing the flow of blood (as long as it is administered in the early part of the disease). If that were the case, then aspirin and other “blood thinning” medications should also help with fewer harmful effects. What is baffling to me is that any such studies were even undertaken in the first place.
Not only are there famous cases where statins are memory robbers (see Graveline’s book: Lipitor, Thief of Memory), but blocking the production of the cholesterol needed for brain function seems that a statin is contraindicated for cerebral dysfunction. There are also a number of studies that show that statins do not help Alzheimer’s patients at all. In a review over two years ago, it was concluded that statins do not help Alzheimer’s patients.
The reason the study was conducted in the first place is that there seems to be a correlation with high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s patients. To me, it seems that the high cholesterol is probably a response to some inflammation in the body. So, the idea is backwards. The cholesterol is trying to protect the body and by removing it artificially, it defeats the purpose and the disease will probably worsen in the long run. Short term effects might first appear to be promising, but the long term effect of depriving the brain of its needed cholesterol would probably be devastating.
Considerable new findings based on scans of brain activity correlated to lifestyle and environment appear that the brain is as affected by inflammation, drug and chemical exposure, poor lifestyle choices, and allergies as is the heart, blood vessels, and other organs. The brain appears to be no different. Dementia (of which Alzheimer’s is subset) appears to be either delayed or even reversed by correcting the source of the inflammation. And not surprisingly, it is the same lifestyle choices that get and keep cholesterol low in the first place.
Here is a quote from that original article:
A recent study has found that cholesterol lowering drug statin can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease if prescribed in the early stage. According to the study, the drug helps in improving the flow of the blood. During the study, it was found that the …
So does this study of statins to help Alzheimer’s patients show any promise? I would say it is misguided. Reigniting the brain activity in seemingly damaged areas of the brain is a huge task and I hope new answers appear on the horizon. Lowering cholesterol artificially is not going to help.