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Research shows statins may be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s

December 12, 2011
by Patricia Sheehan
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Prior research studies have suggested certain cholesterol lowering statin drugs may not have beneficial effects on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. But a new double-blind, placebo-controlled study found evidence that statins can have a favorable impact in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s.

In the December issue of Nature Reviews/Neurology, Larry Sparks, PhD, senior scientist at Banner Sun Health Research Institute, describes how individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were given atorvastatin in hopes that it would provide favorable outcomes in patients with the disease.

Results of the study showed benefit in cognition and other outcome measures following atorvastatin treatment, which achieved statistical significance compared with placebo at six months and patients treated with the statin showed a trend toward improvement at one year. "This evidence may be of clinical benefit to patients and could be established as a possible effective treatment for patients suffering from AD," said Sparks. "While these findings are provocative, larger research trials are required to further research the significance of statins as a treatment for AD."

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