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New findings indicate statins may reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
04.06.2012Statin medications are among the most commonly used drugs for lowering cholesterol. In fact, Lipitor is the most widely used medication of all time. This reflects the high number of people who suffer from poor heart health. However, new findings suggest that the drugs may be beneficial to a wider group of patients.
A team of researchers from McGill University in Montreal found in testing on mice that statin medications may be able to reduce the memory deficits commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease. If the same effect is proven in humans, it could have a major impact on the treatment and prevention of this debilitating disease.
For the study, the researchers the researchers administered statin medications to groups of mice bred to experience the same types of neurological impairments seen in people with Alzheimer's. The mice received the medication over a three- to six-month period.
The results showed that the treatment restored vascular function in a number of areas of the brain commonly associated with memory. Consequently, adult mice with moderate cases of Alzheimer's disease showed signs of improved short- and long-term memory. The same effect was not seen in older animals with the condition.
What was most interesting about the findings was the fact that these memory improvements were achieved without diminishing the amount of amyloid plaque in the subjects' brains. This protein builds up in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's and is thought to be one of the causes of the cognitive deficits associated with the condition.
The researchers said the findings indicate that statin medications could be used as an effective preventive therapy for patients with risk factors for Alzheimer's disease or as a method of preventing the condition from progressing in those with early-stage conditions.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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