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Do Statins Cause Memory Loss

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Evidence For Statins Decreasing Risk Of Dementia

Do statins cause memory loss & cognitive deficits new study

Statins are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Nearly one in three US adults age 40 and older is prescribed a statin. The benefits linked with these medications are very important in fighting cardiovascular disease, which remains our leading cause of death. Statins lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. They increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol. Statins have been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic heart disease and ischemic stroke.1

Thats great news, but what about the reports of cognitive problems linked with statin use?

New Findings On Statin

A study in JAMA Internal Medicine may help to explain the controversial connection between cholesterol-lowering medications and memory loss. Researchers scrutinized health records of more than 11 million people who saw their primary care doctors from 1987 to 2013. They compared reports of memory problems by three groups of people:

  • 483,000 who were prescribed a statin to lower their cholesterol

  • 26,000 who were given another type of cholesterol-lowering drug to lower cholesterol, such as a fibrate or niacin

  • 483,000 who didn’t take any cholesterol drug.

People who took any kind of cholesterol druga statin or some other typewere nearly four times more likely to report memory loss right after starting on the drug, compared with people who didn’t take any kind of cholesterol drug.

Does this mean all cholesterol drugs, not just statins, affect memory? The researchers say this is possible. However, it is unlikely, given the fundamental differences in how statin and nonstatin cholesterol drugs work.

Another possible explanation is a well-known phenomenon called detection bias. People who start taking a new prescription drug are, not surprisingly, more likely to talk to their doctors and therefore have a chance to report any changes in memory they may notice. In other words, it’s more likely that the reported memory problems were coincidences, and not caused by taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Statin Medications May Prevent Dementia And Memory Loss With Longer Use While Not Posing Any Short

A review of dozens of studies on the use of statin medications to prevent heart attacks shows that the commonly prescribed drugs pose no threat to short-term memory, and that they may even protect against dementia when taken for more than one year. The Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted the systematic review say the results should offer more clarity and reassurance to patients and the doctors who prescribe the statin medications.

The question of whether statins can cause cognition problems has become a hot topic among cardiologists and their patients following changes on the drug labels ordered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2012, warning about memory problems with short-term statin use.

However, in their extensive review, the Johns Hopkins researchers found that statins do not affect short-term memory or cognition. In contrast, they say that when the drugs are taken for more than one year, the risk of dementia is reduced by 29 percent. Their findings are published in an online article in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings posted on October 1, 2013.

“Our goal was to provide clarity on this issue based on the best available evidence,” according to Raoul Manalac, M.D., a co-primary author of the study. “We looked at high-quality, randomized controlled trials and prospective studies that included more than 23,000 men and women with no prior history of cognitive problems. The participants in those studies were followed for up to 25 years.”

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The Negative Effects Of Statins On The Brain

02/04/2019 / By Tracey Watson

Statin drugs, prescribed by doctors to reduce high cholesterol levels and supposedly prevent heart attacks and strokes, are the second most prescribed drugs in the world, after the painkiller hydrocodone. Since one in five Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 take these drugs regularly, it is likely that you are acquainted with at least one person who is doing so.

Nonetheless, even though doctors hand out statins like candy, several studies have confirmed that they carry serious side effects. And the vast majority of patients are blissfully unaware of just how dangerous and indeed, ineffective they are.

One of the greatest concerns raised by experts is the potential for statins to cause damage to the brain, triggering memory loss and dementia.

Red Yeast Rice Yeast Rice Side Effects

Do Statin Drugs Cause Memory Loss? A New Study Says Forget ...

However, just because a supplement is natural doesnt necessarily mean that it is either safe or effective. Red yeast rice is a perfect example. Many people think of red yeast rice as a natural way to reduce cholesterol levels. They believe red yeast rice side effects are non-existent. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The active ingredients in red yeast rice are a class of compounds called monacolins, which are close analogs of the statin drugs. In fact, the most abundant monacolin, monacolin K, is identical to the statin drug lovastatin.

That destroys one myth. If a red yeast rice product contains as much monacolin K as a lovastatin pill, it would have the same benefits and the same side effects.

It only gets worse! In fact, you have no way of knowing how much monacolin K is in your red yeast rice supplement. Because lovastatin is a drug the manufacturers are caught in a Catch-22 situation. If the manufacturers were to actually standardize or disclose the levels of monacolin K in their product, the FDA would consider it an unapproved drug.

When manufacturers dont standardize their active ingredients bad things happen. How bad, you might ask? A recent study analyzed the concentration of active ingredients in 12 commercially available red yeast rice supplements . The results were appalling:

  • Total monacolins in the supplements ranged from 0.31 to 11.15 mg/capsule.
  • Monacolin K ranged from 0.10 to 10.09 mg/capsule.

Do statins cause memory loss?

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The American Heart Associations Diet Is A Killer

The landmark Lyon Diet Heart Study followed approximately 600 participants who were at extreme risk for heart attacks.

They were overweight, sedentary, smoked, and had high cholesterol levels.

Half were put on a Mediterranean diet and half were put on what was called a prudent Western-type diet recommended by the American Heart Association.

The study was halted before it was completed.


People on the Mediterranean diet were 45% less likely to die over the 4-year period than those on the prudent diet even though their cholesterol levels didnt budge.

However, so many people on the American Heart Associations diet were dying that researchers felt it was unethical to continue putting study participants at risk.

What To Do If You Think Statins Are Causing Memory Loss

If you currently take a statin and are experiencing side effects like memory loss, mental confusion, or muscle pain, make an appointment to talk to your doctor today.

Go in armed with as much information on cholesterol as possible.

If youd like a deep scientific understanding of cholesterols role in the body, I highly recommend Dr. Peter Attias 9-part blog series The Straight Dope on Cholesterol.

Youll almost certainly know more about cholesterol than your doctor when youre done.

Tell your doctor that you want to have the small particle LDL test done.

As a matter of course, most doctors dont run this test.

Even doctors who understand the value of this test dont recommend it because its normally not covered by insurance.

You can ask for it anyway and offer to pay out of pocket.

Another test to consider is the Vertical Auto Profile or VAP test.

The Wall Street Journal has called the VAP test one worth paying for out of pocket.

And finally, remember that preventing heart disease, not simply having good numbers, is the real goal.

You can proactively prevent heart disease by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Drs. Bowden and Sinatra offer these simple lifestyle recommendations to address the true underlying causes of heart disease:

  • Eat a diet of unprocessed foods
  • Reduce sugar, grains, and vegetable oils high in omega-6 fats like canola oil
  • Eat heart-healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado
  • Manage stress

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Do Statins Cause Memory Loss

Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?

Do statins cause memory loss? They are at it again. The medical profession is telling us that yet another study shows that statins are safe, so almost everyone should be taking a statin drug. There is only one problem. Thats not what the study really showed.

Lets start at the beginning. For people who have already had a heart attack it is pretty clear that statin drugs save lives. If stain drugs were only prescribed for people who have had a heart attack or were at high risk of having a heart attack, I would be a proponent of their use.

However, the guidelines developed by the pharmaceutical and medical industry recommend statin use for millions of Americans who have never had a heart attack and who are at low to moderate risk of ever having a heart attack. That is problematic.

As I documented in a recent Health Tips From the Professor the benefits of statins are marginal at best in healthy people who have not yet had a heart attack.

In addition, statins have some significant side effects. For example, up to 5% of people taking statins develop muscle pain and weakness. For most people the muscle pain is merely an inconvenience, but in a small percentage of cases it can lead to serious complications.

Memory Loss Cause # 4 Vitamin Deficiency

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

Nutritional deficiencies have been understood to be the origin of lots of ailments, from scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency, to weakening of bones, which is mostly related to an absence of calcium and also vitamin D in the diet regimen. It is approximated that half of all senior citizens are vitamin D deficient, and also also much less elders get sufficient vitamin C. Vitamin deficiency can trigger light to extreme cognitive decrease, so its crucial to be familiar with your dietary requirements.

The vitamins that studies have actually shown to impact memory loss as well as cognition are:.

Vitamin A.B12, understood to help cognition in healthy and balanced brains but is especially valuable for mental deterioration.Folic acid.Vitamin C.Vitamin D.

Your medical professional will certainly have the ability to guide you in what vitamins to take, bearing in mind your current prescriptions. Its essential to keep in mind that water is likewise a crucial active ingredient to a well-maintained body, and dehydration is very closely linked to cognitive decline. A current study records that 56% of seniors consume less than six glasses of water a day, 2 less than the recommended everyday amount.

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Is It A Good Idea To Take Cholesterol Medication

The majority of cholesterol medications lower cholesterol with few side effects, but effectiveness varies from person to person. In addition to following a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, you should also take cholesterol medication. Together, these two factors can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Understanding The Complex Nature Of Cholesterol

Artificially inhibiting the production of cholesterol in your body affects every single cell because you need cholesterol to live. It is an essential building block that your body uses to produce the cell membranes, vitamin D, hormones, and the bile you need to digest fat.

Without it, your brain begins to starve.

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Memory Loss Cause # 5 Depression As Well As Anxiety

Extreme depression or grief can in some cases cause lapse of memory and amnesia, as well as typically affecting your capability to focus. Sensations of unhappiness, severe pain at the loss of an enjoyed one, and also various other psychological trauma can result in feeling out of touch, or in a fog and also neglecting small details..

Anxiety influences in between 3% as well as 15% of older adults, according to Mental Health America, and also current studies reveal that 2.2% of elders report significant psychological distress during the 30 days prior to the study. Those aged 45-65 reported distress 4.4% of the time, as well as likewise report a high degree of anxiety. There are numerous upsetting symptoms of anxiety, including:.

Chest discomforts.Lack of ability to focus.Lack of temporary memory.Lightheadedness.Anxiety of dying.

There are numerous reasons an individual can end up being anxious, from family troubles, life modifications, money problems, and health fears. Regardless of the reason behind your stress and anxiety, there are a selection of means you can deal with your tough sensations in the house, as well as options for when anxiety and also stress and anxiety become difficult to live with:.

How Cholesterol Impacts Brain Health And Memory

Statins do NOT cause memory loss and may even protect OAPs ...

Cholesterol has been demonized as a cause of heart disease, but its less known as an essential component of brain cells.

Cholesterol occurs in particularly high concentrations in the brain.

Your brain is 60% fat with much of that being cholesterol.

Without adequate cholesterol, your brain cells would die.

Cholesterol is needed to make neurotransmitters, chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other.

Neurotransmitters regulate your mood and your ability to focus, learn, remember, and handle stress.

Abnormal neurotransmitter activity is responsible for many nervous system diseases and psychiatric disorders.

Even your doctors may not know that high total cholesterol has been found to actually reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.


Does this sound like you?

Fuzzy thinking, foggy focus, forgetfulness?

Lack of energy and drive?

Struggle to learn and make decisions?

A quality brain supplement can make a big difference.

Dr. Pat | Be Brain Fit

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

But they certainly know that cholesterol-lowering drugs can cause memory loss since this well-established side effect is listed on the label of every prescription bottle.

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Statins And Reversible Cognitive Impairment Proposed Mechanisms

Cholesterol is vital to normal brain functions including learning and memory . It is important in myelin sheath formation, mitochondrial function, neurotransmitter receptor expression, synapse development, production of steroid hormones involved in brain and peripheral signaling, and the transport of antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10 . It is unlikely that decreasing peripheral serum cholesterol levels affect cognition, however, it is more probable that affecting cholesterol levels locally in the CNS is responsible for the cognitive impairing effects . Increased exposure to a medication and increased lipophilicity can result in increased brain exposure to a medication leading to the hypotheses that higher statin potency/doses and lipophilicity may translate to decreased cholesterol levels locally in the brain and subsequently lead to cognitive impairment.

Do Statins Cause Long

Memory loss with statins does not appear to be a serious side effect and reverses when the statin is discontinued. Memory loss can occur within days to years of starting statin therapy, but generally reverses within 3 weeks after the medicine is stopped.

If you are having trouble with memory, forgetfulness, confusion, or other cognitive symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for further advice.

This is not all the information you need to know about Zetia for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctors directions. Review the full Zetia information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

  • Nexlixet prescribing information. Accessed Feb. 28, 2022 at
  • Crestor prescribing information. Accessed Feb. 28, 2022 at
  • Ezetimibe / simvastatin Side Effects. Accessed Feb. 28, 2022 at
  • Orsi A, Sherman O, Woldeselassie Z. Simvastatin-associated memory loss. Pharmacotherapy. 2001 Jun 21:767-9. doi: 10.1592/phco.21.7.767.34577. PMID: 11401190.

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Memory Loss Cause # 3 Fitness

When checked concerning their exercise habits in 2016, only 12.7% of people over age 65 fulfilled nationwide exercise requirements, which is 2 and a half hrs of cardio exercise a week. Unsurprisingly, according to recent studies, almost 75% of those over age 65 are obese, or overweight. Excessive weight is understood to impact the brain in numerous methods, as well as can have an extremely negative effect on our memory and also cognition..

Recent research study right into the processes behind weight problems has actually provided us two important methods the brain as well as fitness interact. Brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor is created primarily in the mind, and also studies show that regular aerobic exercise increases manufacturing of BDNF, specifically in those over age 65, providing a vast array of unexpected advantages. In addition to our new knowledge regarding BDNF, we have brand-new research study into the blood-brain obstacle and also its interactions with insulin, excessive weight, as well as brain health. There are solid ramifications that both BDNF and also the blood-brain obstacle play an essential function in our proceeded capability to keep in mind as we age, so it is an excellent idea to read more regarding this new discovery.

The Link Between Increased Statin Use And The Dementia Epidemic

Ask the Expert: Memory Loss and Statins

As noted by the organization Be Brain Fit , there has been a massive increase in the number of Americans taking statin drugs like Crestor and Lipitor in recent years. At the same time, there has been an astronomical increase in the number of people experiencing memory loss, dementia and Alzheimers disease, which is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. BBF suggests that these two statistics may be no coincidence.

People are generally only told about the link between cholesterol and heart disease, but cholesterol also has incredibly important functions in the body. It is found in particularly high concentrations in the brain, with more than 60 percent of this important organ consisting of fat. The brain uses cholesterol to manufacture neurotransmitters, the chemicals which enable brain cells to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are also responsible for regulating mood, as well as facilitating focus and the ability to remember things, learn new things and cope with stress.

When normal neurotransmitter activity is disrupted, psychiatric disorders and nervous system diseases can be triggered.

For this reason, doctors admit that high cholesterol levels help prevent dementia in the elderly but will not admit the inverse: that low cholesterol levels can be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.

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