Statins are prescribed to reduce cholesterol; they work by reducing the amount of cholesterol that cells produce. “The great thing about statins is that they reduce risks for cardiovascular disease significantly and are generally safe for most people.”
“The bad thing is that statins do have side effects, like muscle injury,” said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. Other common side effects from taking statins (affecting between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people) include muscle and joint pain, cold-like symptoms and nosebleeds.
New research, published in ‘Plos One’, suggests statins may also cause memory impairment. The research was led by Professor Neil Marrion, whose team gave the 2 most commonly prescribed statins; Pravastatin (Pravachol) and Atorostatin (Lipitor) to rats for a total of 18 days. The rats were given a learning test which assessed their ability to recognise a previously encountered object.
The statin Pravastatin impaired the rat’s ability to complete the task, but Atorvostatin had no effect, and any negative effects were reversed when the treatment ceased. In conclusion some types of statin are more likely to have an effect on memory. However Professor Marrion added that “in order to better understand the relationship between statin treatment and cognitive function, further studies are needed.”
It seems in many studies there is no definitive conclusion on whether drugs are beneficial or harmful for our health. As with all prescribed drugs you need to be conscious of your own body and contact a physician when you feel your condition changing.