Commonly prescribed statins can impair memory, says study
Between six and seven million people in the UK take the medicines every day to lower 'bad cholesterol' in the blood
Wednesday 25 September 2013
Some commonly prescribed statins can impair memory but others do not, scientists have found.
Between six and seven million people in the UK take the medicines every day to lower "bad cholesterol" in the blood.
But after starting the treatment, some patients complain that their memory is affected.
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) insisted all manufacturers list in their side effects that statins could affect cognitive function.
Scientists at the University of Bristol tested the effects of two commonly prescribed statins - pravastatin and atorvastatin - on rats.
Pravastatin, with the brand name Pravachol, was found to have adverse effects on working and recognition memory.
However, atorvastatin, with the brand name Lipitor, did not have any effect.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, found adverse effects of pravastatin on memory could be reversed by stopping the medication.
Neil Marrion, professor of neuroscience at Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology and the study's lead author, said: "This finding is novel and likely reflects both the anecdotal reports and FDA advice.
"What is most interesting is that it is not a feature of all statins.
"However, in order to better understand the relationship between statin treatment and cognitive function, further studies are needed."
The research examined adverse effects on memory from prescribed statin medicines, used to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood.
Results showed rat performance for simple learning and memory tasks were impaired when taking pravastatin, but not atorvastatin.
The rats were treated daily with pravastatin or atorvastatin for 18 days.
The rodents were tested in a simple learning task before, during and after treatment, in which they had to learn where to find a food reward.
The rats also performed a task which measured their ability to recognise a previously encountered object, on the last day of treatment and a week after it finished.
Pravastatin tended to impair learning over the last few days of treatment, though this was fully reversed once the rats stopped taking the medicine.
In the novel object discrimination task, object recognition memory was also impaired by pravastatin.
No effects were observed for atorvastatin in either task.
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photo leak: 'These are completely fake'
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
London 'terror threat': Metropolitan police deny tube attack hoax
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...
£45000 - £53000 Per Annum plus bonus plus package: The Green Recruitment Compa...
£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...