Thursday, July 18

The Bad & The Good in Statins & Alzheimer's

Statins certainly seem to lower the risk of Alzheimer's. On the other hand, they can sometimes cause temporary memory loss, which does go away if one stops the statins. Find out what you need to know to strike the right balance.

As with any medication, the more you know about statins, the more ability you have to help your doctor give you the best treatment possible.

Statin-Associated Memory Loss

Doctors found that some patients to whom they precribed statins ended up reporting memory loss assoicated with the drug.

It certainly did not happen to everyone. In the study, "Statin-associated memory loss: analysis of 60 case reports and review of the literature", patients reporting such memory loss were identified and observed. Other studies followed, including one in 2010 that reported 600 such cases linked to Lipitor.

Although there was a clear association, no one has been able to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. That is why doctors are careful to check for other reasons behind memory loss before they start cutting back the statins. Heart disease, age and even Alzheimer's can be to blame.

Dementia-expert Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy offers the following advice.
"Clearly, if lowering the dose made the problem better, then that suggests the statin was the cause. However, reducing the dose of a statin can raise risk for heart disease and stroke in some situations. I don’t recommend people stop or change dose of statins on their own, but to work through their doctors. This may also sometimes involve educating your doctors about the new risks associated with statins."

High dose statins prevent dementia 

High doses of statins prevent dementia in older people, according to research presented at the ESC Congress by Dr. Tin-Tse Lin from Taiwan. The study of nearly 58,000 patients found that high potency statins had the strongest protective effects against dementia.
Dr. Lin said: “Statins are widely used in the older population to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But recent reports of statin-associated cognitive impairment have led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to list statin-induced cognitive changes, especially for the older population, in its safety communications.”
He added: “Previous studies had considered statin therapy to exert a beneficial effect on dementia. But few large-scale studies have focused on the impact of statins on new-onset, non-vascular dementia in the geriatric population.”

Accordingly, the current study examined whether statin use was associated with new diagnoses of dementia. The researchers used a random sample of 1 million patients covered by Taiwan’s National Health Insurance. From this they identified 57,669 patients aged >65 years who had no history of dementia in 1997 and 1998. The analysis included pre-senile and senile dementia but excluded vascular dementia.

There were 5,516 new diagnoses of dementia during approximately 4.5 years of follow-up. The remaining 52,153 patients aged >65 formed the control group. Subjects were divided into tertiles according to their mean daily equivalent1 dosage and total (across the entire follow up period) equivalent dosage.

The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for dementia were significantly inversely associated with increased daily or total equivalent statin dosage. The HRs for the three tertiles of mean equivalent daily dosage (lowest to highest) were 0.622, 0.697 and 0.419 vs control (p<0.001 for trend). The HRs for the three tertiles of total equivalent dosage (lowest to highest) were 0.773, 0.632 and 0.332 vs control (p<0.001 for trend). The protective effect of statins remained in different age, gender and cardiovascular risk subgroups.

Dr. Lin said: “The adjusted risks for dementia were significantly inversely associated with increased total or daily equivalent statin dosage. Patients who received the highest total equivalent doses of statins had a 3-fold decrease in the risk of developing dementia. Similar results were found with the daily equivalent statin dosage.”
He added: “It was the potency of the statins rather than their solubility (lipophilic or hydrophilic) which was a major determinant in reducing dementia. High potency statins such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin showed a significant inverse association with developing dementia in a dose-response manner. Higher doses of high potency statins gave the strongest protective effects against dementia.”

Dr. Lin continued: “The results were consistent when analysing daily doses of different kinds of statins. Almost all the statins (except lovastatin) decreased the risk for new onset dementia when taken at higher daily doses. A high mean daily dosage of lovastatin was positively associated with the development of dementia, possibly because lovastatin is a lipophilic statin while the anti-inflammatory cholesterol lowering effect of lovastatin is not comparable to that of atorvastatin and simvastatin.”
Dr. Lin concluded: “To the best of our knowledge, this was the first large-scale, nation-wide study which examined the effect of different statins on new onset dementia (except vascular dementia) in an elderly population. We found that high doses of statins, particularly high potency statins, prevent dementia.”


The New York Times

The European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 80 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.


About ESC Congress
The ESC Congress is currently the world’s premier conference on the science, management and prevention of cardiovascular disease.  The spotlight of this year's event is "The Heart Interacting with Systemic Organs".  ESC Congress takes place from 31 August to 4 September at the RAI centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands. More information: ESC Congress.


More information on the ESC Press Conference page: Statins for all forever?

Comment or Share:

  1. Can anyone define what is considered high daily dose? I'm on a daily dose of 10mg of Lipitor (Atorvastatin). I know that is a low dose.

  2. With agreement from our GP, my wife stopped Pravastatin (Lipitor) last October, and went back to taking Atorvastatin. By Christmas there was an improvement in her cognition, speech and ability to feed herself. This has made my life much easier.
    There has been no follow up from our GP, because here in England, it is written that Dementia is a one way ticket, so no improvements can happen.
    In 2009, my wife was changed from Atorvastatin to Pravastatin, as part of a cost saving exercise, by early 2010, she had stopped speaking, just sat taking no interest in her surroundings, and had to be fed. Four years later, she is feeding herself, taking in TV programmes (and arguing with them!) and speaking much more.
    Roger King

    1. Hi Roger. I am just wondering what you attribute to your wife speaking again? Did you stop the Pravastatin? I was not clear on this. Thanks in advance for your answer

    2. he states she stopped taking Pravastatin and switched to Atorvastatin and she got better :)

    3. Quote:"my wife stopped Pravastatin (Lipitor) last October, and went back to taking Atorvastatin. By Christmas there was an improvement in her cognition, speech and ability to feed herself."
      Roger, you have your medicines reversed. Atorvastatin IS Lipitor. Pravastatin is Pravachol. So your wife's Improvement when switched to Atorvastatin (Lipitor) is in agreement with what the above article is reporting.

    4. The data about something as useful as an aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks took a century or more. The research about semi-synthetic derivative benefit or multiple core v benefits undergoes a tiring big pharmacy cliché: Brand v Generic and it's effectiveness etc. For years RnD gets tied up with more new drugs and less good drugs with. Cannabis I learned recently in add to hemp, oral use for pain and nausea related to chemo; also , has hallucinogenic "opioid" properties - cannabanoids - that can help ones spirit .. Mind, body, soul all from one chemical THC and there's so much money to be made in tax revenue and marketing it's perplexing given..

  3. Cholesterol is significant for cellular health. The brain contains about 25% of the cholesterol in the body. Since statins effectively lower cholesterol, how is lowering the amount of cholesterol available to the brain a good health practice?

    There is no empirical evidence that cholesterol is a cause of heart disease. It is present in the blood, but correlation is not causation. There are several particle sizes to cholesterol. LDL has seven known particle sizes, and only two are "sticky" and would therefore adhere to arterial walls to form plaque. The other five wouldn't.

    Plaque does not form in arteries unless the inner lining is damaged. Damage is typically from free radicals. The real culprits are oxidative stress and inflammation. I believe that sugar is a major factor in causing heart disease. Elevated levels of blood glucose, whether from ingestion of refined sugars or excessive carbohydrates, is closer to a cause of heart disease than cholesterol which comes into play only when the oxidative stress and inflammation have triggered damage.

    1. I agree , I have been studying this because of my Moms scrips . I believe sugar is a major cause of many diseases.

  4. Gee, I wonder which drug company paid for the study.

    1. Follow the money....

  5. You guys think too hard. I am a quadruple heart bypass survivor in 2006. The Discover Magazine did a spread on research into Alzheimer's. The have not concluded all theories; but, Alzheimer's is a forming of plaque on the brain which is caused similar to forming plaque on the heart. Both caused by cholesterol. I have been managing cholesterol since 2006 bypass (99%) occluded) and no risk of another heart blockage. Spend your time thinking about real problems such as world peace.

    1. I am a survivor of a quadruple by pass that never happened ...because i never had it done ...i also dont take statins which are really just poison to the function of the human body .

  6. Chronic lowering of cholesterol causes dementia, Period. This story is pure pharmaceutical company/industry BS. Even the inventor of Statins Akira Endo said when asked what statin he takes for his elevated cholesterol, "The indigo dyer wears white trousers." This means just as the indigo dyer wears white pants because he knows that indigo dye is a toxic poison, the nifty Statin inventor (criminal) does NOT take statins because he knows that they are poisonous mycotoxins. Statins interfere with the mevalonate pathway which is responsible for making many other vital components for cellular survival, not just cholesterol. Taking statins prevents cells from replicating or reproducing thereby accelerating aging, by blocking the vital isoprenoid isopentenyladneine which is required for DNA replication. This was discovered over 30 years ago by Dr. Marvin Siperstein. Statins also block the production of Dolichols which are chemicals which constitute our personalities. Statins cause exactly what they claim to prevent. Google this RICO case that was settled out of court for $41.5 million dollars Case 2:08-cv-00285-DMC-MF Document 93 filed 9/25/2008 if you want to know the truth about statins and the criminals that brought these mycotoxins to the market. Daniel Steinberg should be hunted down and brought to justice. Most monkeys in white coats (i.e. doctors) don't even know that statins do not lower cholesterol. When a statin is taken, the presence of the statin mycotoxin inactivates the already present reductase which causes the cell to make more reductase which results in the production of more cholesterol and a concomitant increase in LDL receptors on the surface of cells. This causes blood stream cholesterol to be absorbed into the cells, causing the cells to overdose on cholesterol resulting in cellular apoptosis. "Pop" goes the cell. In other words, cell death. This exaggerated uptake of cholesterol by the cells which die from apoptosis, results in a lower level of cholesterol in the bloodstream, so the indoctrinated monkey in a white coat (i.e. doctor) thinks that he/she is doing something good for his victim (i.e. patient). Statins are the biggest scam in medical history. You have all been lied to. The truth is coming out. Its time to round up all the criminals responsible for this crime against humanity and administer justice upon their god forsaken souls. For the individual that says that revealing the truth is "thinking too hard", you had better make damn sure that you take an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals especially vitamin C with proline and lysine, because the true cause of coronary artery disease has been hidden for far too long. The true cause is oxidation. Adequate vitamins and minerals prevent oxidation. Vitamins and minerals are not profitable for pharmaceutical companies and are the dagger in the heart of Big Pharma. If one's body is replete eith vitamins and minerals, one does not develop disease. They don't want you to know this, hence codex alimentarius and all the medacious propaganda against vitamins and minerals and cholesterol. Also, for those of you who have coronary artery disease, it can be reversed through chelation. I have lived all of this. I am only scratching the surface here. You are all welcome. Stop wasting you time listening to propaganda spewed by criminals of Big Pharma and start educating yourselves. You can start by reading the book, "How statin drugs really lower cholesterol and KILL YOU one cell at a time." The next step is rounding up all the criminals responsible for this enormous crime and bringing them to justice the old fashioned way. This list is growing and public awareness is approaching critical mass. Whyt don't you all ask your monkey in a white coat (i.e. doctor) what statin he/she takes? If he/she says they are taking a statin then he/she is stupid or a liar.

  7. Statins also cause Mitochondrial Dysfunction which means Mitochondrial DAMAGE. Mitochondria are the small "power plants" in every cell that are responsible for making energy via the Krebs Cycle. This is extremely significant and happens because Statins not only block the production of Cholesterol but they also block the production of CoQ10 and CoQ10 is absolutely necessary for the mitochondria to function. Blocking CoQ10 production, which hinders aerobic metabolism, is as potentially deadly as arsenic, cyanide and carbon monoxide that likewise block aerobic metabolism in cells. Here is the reason why CoQ10 production is so important and why it's production should never be blocked. ATP is the energy source that every cell makes from hydrogen. Dietary carbohydrates are metabolized into hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen is then delivered to the ATP-making factory by a form of Niacin (vitamin B3) abbreviated as NAD. A hydrogen atom is comprised of 1 proton and 1 electron. NAD delivers hydrogen to the ATP-making factory where electrons and protons are separated from hydrogen. The hydrogen protons are pumped into the "proton energy dam" that makes cellular energy, known as ATP. ALL CELLS NEED ATP TO LIVE. CoQ10 transports the electrons (from hydrogen) so that the process doesn't back up, slow down or stop- hence giving rise to the phrase "electron transporting chain". WITHOUT THIS PROCESS OF ELECTRONS BEING TRANSPORTED BY COQ10, METABOLISM CAN SLOW DOWN OR STOP. By blocking CoQ10 synthesis, statins are like cyanide, arsenic, and carbon monoxide that likewise slow down or completely stop electron transport. If electron transport stops, so do organs and the organism. DEATH QUICKLY FOLLOWS. This is what cardiologist Dr. Peter Langsjoen had to say about statins blocking CoQ10, "We are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time. Never before in history has the medical establishment knowingly created a life threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people." This is so important, namely the presence and function of CoQ10 that a patent was written by Michael Brown for adding CoQ10 to Merck's statins to prevent statin myopathy. In the body of this patent he explains how CoQ10 should both prevent and/or cure statin-induced myopathy. Merck statin developers finally reasoned that a CoQ10 deficit was the likely cause of statin toxicity and were so sure of themselves that JONATHAN TOBERT wrote another patent for Merck to add CoQ10 to Lovastatin for the purpose of preventing and reversing liver cell injury. But again, CoQ10 was never added. COQ10 WAS NEVER ADDED TO MERCK'S STATIN OR ANY OTHER STATIN FOR THAT MATTER. ASK YOURSELF WHY?????? CoQ10 is one of the over-the-counter antioxidant nutrients that lowers cholesterol on its own. (It addresses the CAUSE, unlike statins, of elevated cholesterol which is oxidation of cholesterol. It helps to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and therefore, the body doesn't have to make more to compensate for this damaged cholesterol). So, while CoQ10 may have made Lovastatin safer, it would have lowered cholesterol with or without the statin, WITHOUT DOING ALL THE DAMAGE THAT STATINS DO! A final reason why adding CoQ10 to a statin was a "BAD IDEA" for business: IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN OPEN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF A VERY SERIOUS DESIGN DEFECT-AN ADMISSION OF GUILT. MERCK KNEW BETTER. If you have taken a statin, you have been harmed and you should sue for failure to warn. It is time to go after these criminals. This is very basic and fundamental, your doctor cannot feign ignorance here. He/She must be also held accountable.

  8. One of the Pharmacological/Molecular Mechanism by which STATINS CAUSE DEMENTIA.

    Long Term Potentiation is a persistent strengthening of synapses based on recent patterns of activity. These are patterns of synaptic activity that produce a long-lasting increase in signal transmission between two neurons. Therefore the connection between neurons strengthens when we learn.
    Synaptic Plasticity is the ability of synapses to change their strength. Neurons communicate via electrochemical signals. The junction between two neurons is called a synapse. There is a presynaptic neuron and a post synaptic neuron at a synapse or junction. The presynaptic neuron releases chemicals which travel across this synaptic gap to receptors on the post synaptic neuron. This results in the opening of channels which allows ions, such as Sodium and Calcium to enter the postsynaptic neuron. Neurons are surrounded by membranes that have opposite charges, negative inside the neuron and positive outside the neuron. This difference in charges is referred to as the neuron's potential. The number of ions that flow inside the postsynaptic neuron affect the difference in internal and external charges, the potential. This is how the strength of the synapse is measured, by how much the postsynaptic potential changes as a result of presynaptic stimulation.
    With repeated stimulation, the same level of presynaptic stimulation results in greater postsynaptic potential. With repeated presynaptic stimulation to a specific postsynaptic neuron, the presynaptic neuron gets better at sending those signals, which means that it gets better at opening up the channels that allow the ions to enter into the postsynaptic neuron thereby increasing the potential in the post synaptic neuron. Therefore when this happens the synapse strength is increasing. When this increased synapse strength last for a long time, meaning from a few minutes to many months, it is called Long Term Potentiation. This is thought to be the PHYSIOLOGICAL MECHANISM BY WHICH LEARNING OCCURS. As synapses are strengthen and as they retain that strength, we are able to more easily RECALL PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES.
    It is very important to understand that when this process of Long Term Potentiation is taking place, the repeated presynaptic stimulation that results in a greater postsynaptic potential because more ions have moved into the postsynaptic neuron, the synapse is actually CHANGING ITS SHAPE, the form and structure of the synapse is undergoing a physical change. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT POINT WITH RESPECT TO STATIN'S DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY.

  9. One of the Pharmacological/Molecular Mechanism by which STATINS CAUSE DEMENTIA. (continued)

    Researchers at the University of California at Irvine, in a recent publication of physical evidence of LTP, demonstrated the physical process for formation of Memory and verified the necessary environment for this CHANGE IN SHAPE. The researchers demonstrated that PHOSPHORYLATED COFILIN (pCofilin) caused ACTIN POLYMERIZATION affecting ACTIN FILAMENTS (f-Actin) to ACHIEVE A LARGER SYNAPSE.
    The researchers used NMDA receptor agonist, CPP, which is a product of Nitric Oxide Synthase to disrupt memory formation. CPP PREVENTS MEMORY FORMATION and ERASES EXISTING MEMORY.
    Therefore, both p-Cofilin and f-Actin are ESSENTIAL for MEMORY FORMATION because they are needed for the CHANGE IN SHAPE that the synapse undergoes when memory is being formed.
    Here is where STATINS ENTER THE PICTURE. Both p-Cofilin and f-Actin are made from Rho. Rho is another one of those vital things produced by the Mevalonate pathway which are BLOCKED by Statin's action on reductase. By inhibiting the production of Rho, both p-Cofilin and f-Actin are inhibited from being produced. This results in Statins affecting the actin cytoskeleton (the cytoskeleton is the microscopic network of protein filaments and tubules in the cytoplasm of many living cells, giving them shape and coherence) by inhibiting the RhoA activation, and Cofilin phosphorylation. In other words the synapse CANNOT undergo the REQUIRED CHANGE IN SHAPED in Long Term Potentiation, i.e. memory formation. This is directly due to the STATINS.
    If that wasn't bad enough, in addition, Statins destroy memory because when cholesterol is lowered in the blood stream by statins, Nitric Oxide is upregulated or increased. Nitric Oxide produces CPP which is the substance that ERASES EXISTING MEMORY AND PREVENTS FORMATION OF NEW MEMORY.
    In addition, researchers report that cholesterol and CoQ10 are needed for memory formation. Cholesterol and CoQ10 production are ALSO INHIBITED BY STATINS, and therefore contribute to STATIN COGNITIVE ADRs (adverse reactions).
    In addition again, Matthew F. Muldoon has reported in the medical literature the documentation of cognitive impairment in 100% of STATIN USERS if sufficiently sensitive testing is done.
    In addition, again, again. It was only in 2003 that Pfrieger found that the GLIAL CELLS OF THE BRAIN PROVIDE FOR CHOLESTEROL MANUFACTURE and of course are just as effectively inhibited by statins finally giving an explanation for the bizarre cognitive side effects being reported.
    When are you all going to realize that it is easier to take your rights, your money and your country away from you if you are suffering from statin toxicity. Could this be the real reason why they want everyone to take a statin??
    Big Pharma and the government know all of this. Why do you think that laws have been passed to protect Big Pharma and Doctors from legal retaliation for what they are doing to you??
    Its time for all you children to face reality.

  10. Pfreiger's announcement on November 9, 2001 about the discovery of the identity of the elusive synaptogenic factor responsible for the development of synapses, the highly specialized contact sites between adjacent neurons in the brain, deserves to be cited again in the context of cholesterol's vast importance to our bodies. Neuronal transmission, the very essence of who we are, is absolutely dependent upon abundant cholesterol reserves. The synaptogenic factor was shown to be the notorious substance CHOLESTEROL.
    The so-called glial cells, the non-nervous or supporting tissue of the brain and spinal chord long suspected of providing certain housekeeping functions, were shown to produce their own supply of cholesterol for the specific purpose of providing nerve cells with this vital synaptic component.
    This should be sobering news for those in the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs which interfere with cholesterol synthesis, the mechanism of action of all the statins.
    One wonders how anyone knowing the mechanism of brain cholesterol synthesis by our glial cells can seriously challenge the reality of cognitive side effects from statin drug use. The only surprise is that there are not more reported cases of memory impairment, amnesia, confusion and disorientation.
    Neurologists are afraid to speak up and tell the truth because medicine has become despotic. If one goes against pharmaceutical doctrine and agenda, one runs the risk of losing one's medical license. This is the sad reality of what America has become. This is known as "Rockefeller medicine". These criminals started taking over medicine in the 1930s. It's up to you the individual to hold these criminals accountable for all the damage that they are committing.

  11. OK, read all the blurb. How does one get off statins safely after taking them for 10 years?
    I take 40mg of Atoravastin at the moment with no apparent side effects. I also supplement with Vit C, magnesium and a low dose of calcium as I have osteoporosis following large doses of radiation after breast cancer. Hey, that was 21 years ago. I do not ingest raw salt or sugar, have a good fitness regime and feel fine. However, taking the statins does cause me worry since both my parents have dementia although neither of them take/took statins and both are in their 90's.

  12. This is a load of crap.

    Statin drugs under all sorts of names reduce cholesterol but what the FAIL to tell people s that humans brains are made up of more then 95% cholesterol and these drugs destroy that as well.
    --The brains cholesterol holds up and keeps synapses separated and when the cholesterol is destroyed the synapses have nothing supporting them and the fall into each other shorting out parts of the brain causing loss of memory and eventually death.
    --Essentially this drugs DOES cause Dementia and other memory related problems.

    1. Todd, Todd, Todd, or should it be Toad, Toad, Toad

  13. I was feeling hopeless until I read this article. I had a cabg (LIMA) on 4-11-16, and have been on lipitor 40 mg a day since. I have had such forgetfulness & memory loss that I thought I had an anoxic brain injury or stroke during surgery. I couldn't find a store today that I have been to a thousand times. I can't say the right words. I get tongue tied a LOT. Now I will call the doctor out on my meds, and if I never take atorvastatin again, so be it. I'm willing to eat spinach over this mental deficiency I'm experiencing. Honesty I was suicidal until I read this info. Thanks.

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  16. Well it's all true unfortunately one size doesn't fit all ..in some cases for a period statins can be beneficial as is true for anti biotic..it's the mass prescribing that is criminal my cholesterol is between 11- 14 without them double dosage with them it is 5.5 family history of heart attacks and strokes mother died at 42 old Ellen lasted till 55 the rest died in their 30s except for 2... in short believe what you want ..I am up for a bypass quadruple so I am back on the statins ..but basically exercise and nutrition is what will save me not the stains or the bypass...death is scarey but this toxic life is a sham.. I do forget stuff I forget I am up for a by pass I forget I won't live forever..and I forget to be nice to ppl..

  17. Everything I have now read on this relationship between Lipitor and Dementia is textbook for what I have experienced this last TERRIBLE four years. Everything from forgetting my sister's death, my son's wedding, trip to the bottom of volcano in Hawaii. Regular as clockwork once a month another spell of memory loss. Doctors started on anxiety drugs, then depression drugs, then mode stabilizers, hypnosis you name it. Termed Transit Global Amnesia, except that supposedly only happens three or four times. Nine Doctors common answer,"I have never seen anything like this before. It is very strange."

    Now my question I have stopped the lipitor, how long before I notice any change? Or will there be any change?


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