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Can Simvastatin Cause Memory Loss

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Some Statins May Impair Memory

Atorvastatin and Dementia: Do atorvastatin and other statins cause dementia and memory loss?

New research suggests some statin drugs may cause memory impairment. A team led by scientists at the University of Bristol in the UK tested two commonly prescribed statins in rats and found one, but not the other, reduced performance of working and recognition memory.

They write about their findings in a recent online issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

Statins are drugs that reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in the blood and are taken by millions of people worldwide.

Cholesterol is a range of vital fatty substances that all the cells of the body need in order to work properly. It is also an ingredient for making other vital substances.

But having too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to fatty deposits building up in arteries, which raises risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol that cells produce, which forces them to get their supply from the bloodstream, thus lowering the amount circulating in arteries.

They are prescribed for healthy people at high risk from heart disease and also to prevent further problems in people who have already had a heart attack or stroke, or who have peripheral artery disease.

Study Tested Two Commonly Used Statins

For their study, the researchers tested two commonly prescribed statins, pravastatin and atorvostatin in rats.

The results showed pravastatin, but not atorvostatin, impaired the animals ability to perform simple learning and memory tasks.

They gave rats a daily dose of the statins for 18 days and tested their ability to perform a simple learning task involving finding a food reward before, during and after treatment.

On the last day of treatment and one week after ceasing treatment, they also tested the rats ability to recognize a previously encountered object this tested their recognition memory.

The results showed that over the last few days of treatment, daily medication with pravastatin tended to impair the rats learning. However, this effect was reversed when treatment ceased.

Also, in the recognition memory test, taking pravastatin reduced rats ability to discriminate new objects.

However, no effects were observed for atorvostatin in either task, write the authors, who conclude that chronic treatment with pravastatin impairs working and recognition memory in rodents.

They note that the reversibility of the cognitive impairment effect of pravastatin is similar to that reported by patients and the fact atorvostatin did not have any effect at all suggests some types of statins may be more likely to impair memory and learning than others.

Lead author Neil Marrion, professor of Neuroscience at Bristol, says:

Statin Side Effects: Memory Loss Depression And More

There is no doubt that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Mevacor, Lipitor, and Crestor are linked to serious memory loss, fuzzy thinking, and learning difficulties.

Statins decrease the production of CoQ10, a nutrient thats protective of both the heart and the brain.

CoQ10 deficiency is believed to be responsible for the fatigue and muscle pain commonly experienced with statin use.

Some people get very irritable, depressed, anxious, or even suicidal when taking these drugs, or when following a low-fat diet.

The US Food and Drug Administration requires that warning labels state that statins can cause memory loss as well as mental confusion, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes.

Statins can lead to diabetes at an alarming rate.

Nearly half of women who take statins eventually develop diabetes, a disease which greatly increases the risk for dementia.

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Some Statins May Be Associated With Memory Cognitive Issues

A type of statins, drugs which are used to lower cholesterol, may increase the risk for memory loss and other cognitive issues, according to a new study.

The drugs in question are known as lipophilic statins. Common ones are Lipitor , Zocor and Mevacor . Compared to other types of statins, these 3 medications tend to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily, which can lead to potential central nervous system complications.

Researchers at the University of Toronto looked at data from patients seen at a memory disorders clinic. Patients were divided into 3 groups. The first was a control group not taking a statin. The second group was taking Lipitor. And the final group was taking Crestor, which is known as a hydrophilic statin.

Data showed that those in the Lipitor group had lower cognitive and neurology assessment scores compared to those in the control or Crestor groups. Results also showed that there were no significant differences in test evaluations between the Crestor group and the control group. The results were presented at the recent Alzheimers Association International Conference and were reported by Neurology Advisor.

Findings from this investigation suggest that lipophilic, blood-brain barrier penetrable statins may be associated with deficits in cognition and memory, and the association is affected by the dose of the medication, lead author Alex Kai Chan of St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto, concluded.

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Effects Of Cholesterol On Brain Health And Memory

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Although cholesterol is an important component in the brain where it occurs in high concentrations, its also linked with heart disease. In fact, your brain is 60% fat and much of it is cholesterol. Your brain cells would die without cholesterol. So, cholesterol is required for the production chemicals brain cells known as neurotransmitters which are responsible for mood, ability to remember, learn, focus, and cope with stress.

Most psychiatric disorders and nervous system diseases are associated with abnormal neurotransmitter activity in the brain.

High total cholesterol lowers the risk of dementia in the elderly. However, drugs that lower cholesterol can lead to memory loss. Every prescription bottle of statin contains this warning.

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Statins And Reversible Cognitive Impairment Evidence For

Statins have been linked to short-term reversible cognitive impairment since early safety and tolerability testing . During a phase I clinical trial of atorvastatin, escalating doses showed a dose-dependent adverse reaction of mild, transient, restlessness, euphoria, and mental confusion . However, cognitive impairment was not reported significantly enough in the in phase II and III statin clinical trials to be recognized as a side effect . Post-marketing surveillance can uncover side effects not identified in clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance of statins has revealed numerous case reports that characterize a transient and reversible cognitive loss. A review of 60 case reports described the main symptom of short-term memory loss that occurred a few months after the start of statin therapy or after an increase in dosage. Several case reports observed resolution of cognitive impairment upon discontinuation of the statin and recurrence of cognitive impairment upon rechallenging of the statin .

Voluntary reporting to AERs captures only an estimated 1 to 10% of true events. By extrapolation from their data the authors estimated a true amount of 3000 to 30,000 occurrences of cognitive impairment associated with atorvastatin and simvastatin a year . Since there are 32 million Americans on statins the risk of cognitive impairment can be extrapolated to be between 0.11% for the entire population taking a statin.

Statins And Brain Fog

While statins have a lot of health benefits and are safe for most people to use, there are some side effects. These can include:

Brain fog is âa general level of confusion and disorientation,â says Robert Rosenson, MD, director of the Cardiometabolic Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

The FDA approved label changes for statins that list memory loss and confusion as a ânon-serious and reversible side-effect.â

Cholesterol is an important part of your brain. In fact, 25% of the bodyâs cholesterol is found there. So it may seem like statins could affect how your brain works.

But experts donât think thereâs cause for concern. Several studies on the drugâs side effects suggest thereâs no direct link. And the symptoms could be a sign of other problems, Rosenson says.

âThey forget where they put their keys down, they may open the refrigerator, put the keys in there, they forget and canât find them. But these are often signs of Alzheimerâs. And Alzheimerâs is a disease that develops over a long term,â he says.

These types of memory issues usually happen to people who are middle-age or older and can be a sign of many conditions.

âOne might need to ask the question: âIs it really the drug?â Or is there something else going on here that would require formal evaluation with a neuropsychiatric specialist,â Rosenson says.

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Statins And General Memory Problems:

Transient Global Amnesia is a relatively rare condition. Thats why it stands out. Very few people spontaneously experience amnesia where they forget where they are, who they are married to or what they do for a living.

Here are just a few of the stories we have received:

Arlene shared this experience:

I have tried many statins, but continue to have the same side affect, which is loss of memory. I also had what I can call amnesia episodes. My doctor wants me to continue trying different statins, but Ive just about had it. Im beginning to think he doesnt believe me about the regular memory problems or the two amnesia episodes.

I also had a muscular problem with one statin which he quickly asked me to stop taking. I dont know what to do. Maybe I should change doctors, but theyre all pretty much into statins these days. Has anyone else had so many episodes with memory problems while taking statins?

Linda is worried about her husbands memory:

My husband has been on the atorvastatin for over three years. He was always a very sharp individual with an excellent memory. Over the past two years hes been having terrible bouts of severe depression and memory loss. He is always tired and at times cannot think of certain words. Hes mentioned this to his cardiologist but his doctor refuses to admit that it is from the atorvastatin. He istaking 80 mg of atorvastatin and his cholesterol levels are very low.

Things To Be Aware Of When Youre On Statins

Do statins cause memory loss & cognitive deficits new study

Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid or ease side effects:

Be careful with grapefruit. The juice contains certain chemicals that may interrupt how statins metabolize in your gut. While you donât have to give up grapefruit, ask your doctor what amount is safe to eat or drink.

Tell your doctor about all the medications youâre on. Certain drugs can interact with statins and may cause side effects. These include:

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How To Relieve Memory Loss Caused By Statins

The exact mechanism by which statins may cause memory loss remains unknown. Most of the theories regarding how this might occur have also been disproven.

The most promising theory linking statins to brain function does not actually support the observation that statin-caused memory loss. This theory involves the relationship between cholesterol and amyloid synthesis.

Increased cholesterol intake has been associated with increased amyloid synthesis.

Amyloids are complex proteins that structurally resemble starch. When they collect in the brain, they can cause cognitive decline. Amyloid proteins have been implicated in the appearance and progression of Alzheimers disease.

Therefore, statins should reduce amyloid synthesis which should reduce the risk of dementia and improve cognitive function.

Unfortunately, this theory has received no support from observational studies. Clinical evidence obtained from actual cases all point to the fact that statins can cause memory loss more often than they can reduce cognitive dysfunction.

Discussed below are some ways to relieve the memory loss caused by statins.

However, make sure to consult your physician before making changes to your statin therapy. Even the FDA agrees that memory loss is a rare side effect of statins. Therefore, a medical professional who can properly determine the risk-reward potential of statin therapy can provide a better assessment of the direction further treatment needs to take.

Memory Loss Cause #12 Aging

Most older individuals have some memory issues, Legendre claims. Regular lapse of memory can include forgetting your new neighbors name or taking longer to find out a brand-new computer software program. Memorization gets harder and also its common to fail to remember small things like where you put your automobile secrets. Some older individuals have worse amnesia, known as moderate cognitive problems, Legendre says. They might have trouble bearing in mind current discussions or fail to remember visits. They can usually keep in mind events that took place farther in the past and also go about day-to-day live generally.

There are ways to help protect against lapse of memory as you age. A study from McMaster University located that exercise, especially at a high intensity, might improve memory in older adults. Another study released in the Lancet in 2019 located workout can reduce your risk of mental deterioration.

One of our memorys most hazardous enemies is an absence of excitement. Review books, create or find out brand-new things to boost your mind.

How Can Statins Cause Memory Loss Can be a difficult question to answer. Following this guideline should generally improve your memory loss however if it doesnt you may want to look into for more causes that are particular to your situation.

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Why Are Doctors Pushing Statins

According to Dr. Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School, doctors dont report between 90% and 99% of serious side effects associated with statin drugs. This is either because they have been influenced by the drug companies or they dont believe there is a correlation.

Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest to go on promoting this $19 billion industry. As we speak, one in four adults uses statins.

The American Heart Association recently released new guidelines that, if followed, could double the number of people using cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Statins And Memory Loss: Is There Reason To Worry

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Approximately one in six adults in the United States has high cholesterol, a risk factor for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For millions of people, doctors prescribe statins, including such popular brand names as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor, among others, to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

After some anecdotal reports that statin users experienced short-term memory lapses, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings in 2012 that these medications may increase risk of memory loss. But now a new study suggests those warnings may be unfounded.

Researchers at Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania looked at 482,542 new statin users and compared them to an equal number of people who were not taking any cholesterol-lowering drugs. Additionally, new statin users were also compared to another 26,484 people taking nonstatin lipid-lowering drugs .

The results, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association-Internal Medicine, showed that more patients taking statins did indeed report short-term memory loss in the 30-day period after first taking the drug when compared to people not taking any cholesterol-lowering drugs. However, the same was true for patients taking nonstatin LLDs.

Strom’s conclusion then was that statins do not cause memory loss, but people are more likely to recognize health problems when they start a new drug — a so-called “detection bias.”

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Fda Warning Despite Studies

This isnt the first study to find a low risk of cognitive impairment associated with statins.

In 2013, Johns Hopkins researchers conducted a long-term study that found no evidence that statins caused memory loss or dementia.

In fact, this and found that statin drugs may even protect against dementia.

Nonetheless, in 2012 the Food and Drug Administration modified warning labels on statins to include cautions that the drugs may be linked to memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion.

There have been rare post-marketing reports of cognitive impairment associated with statin use, according to the FDA. These reported symptoms are generally not serious and reversible upon statin discontinuation.

The FDA also noted, Data from the observational studies and clinical trials did not suggest that cognitive changes associated with statin use are common or lead to clinically significant cognitive decline.

There have also been some concerns raised over the effectiveness of statins and the number of people who are prescribed the drugs.

A study published last month stated that statins may not be necessary for people with lower heart disease risk.

Another study released in April reported that about half of participants failed to lower their cholesterol levels after taking statins for 2 years.

Memory Loss Cause # 7 Thyroid Problems

According to recent clinical research studies, hypothyroidism is present in concerning 5% of individuals over the age of 65, as well as women are almost three times as most likely to have thyroid concerns. Hyperthyroidism is equally as hazardous, both to sleep and also overall wellness, and also study shows that 15% of people identified with an over active thyroid more than the age of 65.

Little is understood concerning exactly how exactly thyroid disorders affect memory, however research shows a clear link in between memory loss and also hypo as well as hyperthyroidism. Talk to your physician to locate out more concerning your thyroid wellness and also if there is anything you can do to aid improve your memory.

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Memory Loss And Simvastatin

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