Statins: the medication may slash the risk of brain diseases

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Experts say the heart drug’s protective effect on the brain’s arteries may combat a range of conditions similar to Parkinson’s disease, called parkinsonism.

Dr Shahram Oveisgharan, of Rush University, Chicago, said: “Our results are exciting, because movement problems in older adults that come under the umbrella of parkinsonism are common, often debilitating and generally untreatable.”

Scientists looked at 2,841 elderly people who did not at first have movement issues.

After six years just 45 per cent of the 936 people on statins showed signs of Parkinson’s compared with 53 per cent who did not.

Taking anti-cholesterol drugs reduced the odds by 16 per cent.Those on higher doses had a seven per cent lower risk of symptoms.

The brains of 1,044 who died during the study were also examined. Those who had been taking statins were on average 37 per cent less likely to have plaque build-up in arteries.

Dr Oveisgharan added: “More research is needed but statins could be a therapeutic option in the future to help reduce the effects of parkinsonism.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology.



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