Cholesterol research: The possible reason for statins side effects


Sott.net posts this article by Science Codex.

English: Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons...

English: Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons (also known as neurones and nerve cells) are electrically excitable cells in the nervous system that process and transmit information. In vertebrate animals, neurons are the core components of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and physicians continue to document that some patients experience fuzzy thinking and memory loss while taking statins, a class of global top-selling cholesterol-lowering drugs.

A University of Arizona research team has made a novel discovery in brain cells being treated with statin drugs: unusual swellings within neurons, which the team has termed the “beads-on-a-string” effect.

The team is not entirely sure why the beads form, said UA neuroscientist Linda L. Restifo, who leads the investigation. However, the team believes that further investigation of the beads will help inform why some people experience cognitive declines while taking statins.

“What we think we’ve found is a laboratory demonstration of a problem in the neuron that is a more severe version for what is happening in some peoples’ brains when they take statins,” said Restifo, a UA professor of neuroscience, neurology and cellular and molecular medicine, and principal investigator on the project.

Restifo and her team’s co-authored study and findings recently were published in Disease Models & Mechanisms, a peer-reviewed journal. Robert Kraft, a former research associate in the department of neuroscience, is lead author on the article.

Restifo and Kraft cite clinical reports noting that statin users often are told by physicians that cognitive disturbances experienced while taking statins were likely due to aging or other effects. However, the UA team’s research offers additional evidence that the cause for such declines in cognition is likely due to a negative response to statins.

The team also has found that removing statins results in a disappearance of the beads-on-a-string, and also a restoration of normal growth. With research continuing, the UA team intends to investigate how genetics may be involved in the bead formation and, thus, could cause hypersensitivity to the drugs in people. Team members believe that genetic differences could involve neurons directly, or the statin interaction with the blood-brain barrier.

“This is a great first step on the road toward more personalized medication and therapy,” said David M. Labiner, who heads the UA department of neurology. “If we can figure out a way to identify patients who will have certain side effects, we can improve therapeutic outcomes.”

For now, the UA team has multiple external grants pending, and researchers carry the hope that future research will greatly inform the medical community and patients.

“If we are able to do genetic studies, the goal will be to come up with a predictive test so that a patient with high cholesterol could be tested first to determine whether they have a sensitivity to statins,” Restifo said.

The significance of this is the acceptance that statins do have real side effects. The prevalence of this or other side effects are not mentioned but that investigations are being funded is encouraging.

Then there are the issues of whether statins are justified anyway. Further studies are taking place on the inflammation factor -whether it is significantly contributory or simply another related component.

Not all of the medical fraternity have closed minds concerning their own particular fields of expertise, good to see. However, it is difficult to reduce the impact of the pharmaceutical industry which does have a huge influence  and is obsessed with making and supplying drugs and, of course, money.

It is a pity that not more of the medical professionals look seriously at natural foods for improving public health in general and even treatment of specific ailments.

Here we at least have some good scientific evidence that supports the evidence of serious side effects of statins. A reversal of the brain function aberrations resulting from statins, after ceasing the medication is welcome information but we might rightly wonder if all adverse effects are completely removed.

But I have  digressed!

Read the source article here.

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About Ken McMurtrie

Retired Electronics Engineer, most recently installing and maintaining medical X-Ray equipment. A mature age "student" of Life and Nature, an advocate of Truth, Justice and Humanity, promoting awareness of the injustices in the world.
This entry was posted in drugs & medication, HEALTH and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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