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Statins May Prevent Dementia And Memory Loss With Longer Use

Update Date: Oct 03, 2013 10:44 AM EDT

A review of several studies on the use of statin medications to prevent heart attacks has wiped out any possibility for short-term memory loss. The review also suggests towards the possibility of protecting against dementia if taken for more than a year.

Researchers at John Hopkins conducted the systematic review. They said that the findings will boost clarity and reassurance to the patients as well as doctors who prescribe this drug.

In the detailed review, the John Hopkins researchers found that statins have no effect on short term memory and cognition. In contrast, they said that when the drugs are taken for more than a year, the risk of dementia is reduced by 29 percent.

“All medications, including statins, may cause side effects, and many patients take multiple medicines that could theoretically interact with each other and cause cognitive problems,” said primary study author Kristopher Swiger, according to a news release.

“However, our systematic review and meta-analysis of existing data found no connection between short-term statin use and memory loss or other types of cognitive dysfunction. In fact, longer-term statin use was associated with protection from dementia," he added.

For their review, researchers conducted to two different analyses. It involved 41 different studies which were later narrowed down to 16 according to their relevance.

“Our goal was to provide clarity on this issue based on the best available evidence,” said Raoul Manalac, M.D. according to a news release. “We looked at high-quality, randomized controlled trials and prospective studies that included more than 23,000 men and women with no prior history of cognitive problems. The participants in those studies were followed for up to 25 years.”

The findings were published in an online article at Mayo Clinic Proceedings

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