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Friday, September 12, 2014

Dementia ; Statins

The Lancet Editorial of June 281 states that Prime Minister David Cameron has taken the lead in the attempt to lessen the global epidemic of dementia by identifying a cure or disease modifying therapy by 2025.1 Yet in the same issue of The Lancet, we read that statins have anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit leucocyte migration through the blood—brain barrier, thereby lessening atrophy of the brain.2 Possible additional brain protective mechanisms are endothelial protection via action on the nitric oxide synthase system and as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet effects.3—5 Thus there are several pointers that together make a case for the wider use of statins with the aim of lessening the effect of dementia. Although we will undoubtedly have more information by 2025, the currently available data suggest the use of high-dose statins as relatively simple therapy to lessen the severity of developing dementia. Ultimately a large-scale definitive study would be required fully to prove this concept.
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Full-size image (13K) James King-Holmes/Science Photo Library
I declare no competing interests.


1 The LancetAddressing global dementiaLancet 20143832185Full Text | PDF(98KB) PubMed
2 Chataway JSchuerer NAlsanousi A, et alEffect of high-dose simvastatin on brain atrophy and disability in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS-STAT): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trialLancet 20143832213-2221.Summary | Full Text | PDF(451KB) PubMed
3 Vaughan CJDelanty NNeuroprotective properties of statins in cerebral ischemia and strokeStroke 1999301969-1973.PubMed
4 Ma MUekawa KHasegawa Y, et alPretreatment with rosuvastatin protects against focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats through attenuation of oxidative stress and inflammationBrain Res 2013151987-94PubMed
5 Moon GJKim SJCho YHRyoo SBang OYAntioxidant effects of statins in patients with atherosclerotic cerebrovascular diseaseJ Clin Neurol 201410140-147PubMed
a Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa

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