A new article published December 12, 2016 in JAMA Neurology shows a possible link between high statin use and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The observational study, led by Julie M. Zssimopoulos, PhD, looked at whether the use of statins in Medicare patients reduced the risk of those patients developing Alzheimer’s disease. They analyzed Medicare data of patients taking statins (often prescribed to lower cholesterol) and they found some correlation between statin use and Alzheimer’s disease risk reduction in certain populations.
The authors caution that their findings do not show cause and effect, meaning they cannot say that taking high doses of statins does reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but they do suggest that clinical trials should be conducted to evaluate whether taking statins – and taking certain types of statins – could have preventive benefits when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.
During their study, they looked at “the medical and pharmacy claims of a 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries from 2006 to 2013”. The 20% sample included 399,979 people aged 65 and older. They compared the rates of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis rates between people with high and low exposure to statins (also comparing different statin drugs) and they looked at the incidences in different genders and racial/ethnic groups (black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white, Asian, Native American, and unknown race/ethnicity [“other”]).
What they found is that high statin exposure did correlate with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease in many of the groups, and the types of statin drugs had different effects on various gender/ethnic/racial groups. The one group whose risk did not appear to change with statin exposure was black men.
The results of their study could lead to clinical trials that could confirm whether statins could be a useful drug in prevention or delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about their study online at http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/2591317
At Home Care Assistance, we are working with others in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research and treatment to find better ways to prevent and combat the debilitating symptoms in older adults. While we support pharmaceutical treatment, we offer a program that focuses on non-drug therapy for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia through our program, The Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM). CTM is a cognitive stimulation program developed by our scientific division. Here, we aim to improve our clients’ quality of life by promoting brain health through personalized, one-on-one activities that engage the main cognitive domains of the brain.
To learn more about the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please check out our resources here: https://homecareassistance.com/alzheimers-and-dementia-care\
Source: JAMA Neurology. Published online December 12, 2016