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Statin reduces dementia risk.



A popular anticholesterol drug cuts older adults' chances of developing dementia by more than half, according to a new review of 4.5 million medical records.

Earlier research offered a mixed picture of cholesterol-reducing statins Statins
A class of drugs commonly used to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Mentioned in: C-Reactive Protein
 and their ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Researchers at Boston University and the Veterans Administration (VA) in Washington, D.C., suspected that the confusion may have arisen from the failure of those studies to sort out the effects of various statin medications.

Researchers from the two institutions reviewed the records of patients treated at VA hospitals from 2002 to 2005.

Of three statin drugs on the market today, simvastatin simvastatin /sim·va·stat·in/ (sim´vah-stat?in) an antihyperlipidemic agent that acts by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis, used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and other forms of dyslipidemia and to lower the risks associated  (Zocor) offered the greatest protection against dementia. Patients 65 and older who took it for at least 7 months during the 3-year study period were 54 percent less likely to develop clinical dementia as were patients taking nonstatin heart medicines. Simvastatin also cut the risk of a Parkinson's disease diagnosis by 49 percent.

Atorvastatin atorvastatin /ator·va·stat·in/ (ah-tor?vah-stat´in) an antihyperlipidemic agent that acts by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis, used as the calcium salt in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and other forms of dyslipidemia.  (Lipitor) reduced dementia risk by 9 percent, while lovastatin lovastatin /lo·va·stat·in/ (lo´vah-stat?in) an antihyperlipidemic agent that acts by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis, used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and other forms of dyslipidemia and to lower the risks associated with  (Mevacor) offered no such advantage.

The huge study included 700,000 patients who took simvastatin and 50,000 who took atorvastatin. Patients averaged 75 years of age. The team published its results online July 19 in BMC (BMC Software, Inc., Houston, TX, www.bmc.com) A leading supplier of software that supports and improves the availability, performance, and recovery of applications in complex computing environments.  Medicine.--B.V.
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Title Annotation:BIOMEDICINE
Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 4, 2007
Words:210
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