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Home Industry News Statins ‘may protect against dementia’

Statins ‘may protect against dementia’

29th July 2008

Drugs commonly used to fight cholesterol may protect against dementia and memory loss, new research suggests.

According to a report published in Neurology today, people taking the cholesterol-fighting statins are half as likely to develop dementia as those who do not.

For their research, scientists examined 1,674 Mexican-Americans over the age of 60 and free of dementia.

“Our participants were fairly typical older people with lots of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Until our study enrolled them, they had never had their memory tested,” said the report’s author Mary Haan.

During the five-year study, 27 percent took a statin drug and a total of 130 people developed dementia or cognitive impairment.

Scientists also tested for a number of other dementia risk factors, such as education, a history of smoking, diabetes, stroke and whether the people had a gene thought to be a cause of dementia.

“We aren’t suggesting that people should take statins unless they are necessary for other reasons. We hope this study and others like it will open the door to trials that would test the ability of statins to prevent dementia and other types of cognitive impairment,” said Ms Haan.

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