Newest Neurology Information
THURSDAY, March 24, 2022
Tens of millions of individuals taking statin drugs to decrease their cholesterol could get an unanticipated profit: They could be much less more likely to develop motion and stability issues like these seen in Parkinson’s illness, a brand new examine suggests.
The examine appeared on the relationship between statin use and parkinsonism.
Individuals with parkinsonism have a number of the signs seen in Parkinson’s illness — together with slowed motion, stiff muscle tissue and issue walking and sustaining stability. However the underlying causes differ.
Researchers discovered that amongst greater than 2,800 aged adults they adopted, half developed signs of parkinsonism over six years. However that danger was 16% decrease amongst these utilizing statins.
The findings had been printed on-line March 23 in Neurology. They don’t show that statins instantly decrease the chance of parkinsonism, stated lead researcher Dr. Shahram Oveisgharan, of Rush College Medical Heart, in Chicago.
However, he added, his workforce was additionally capable of examine autopsied mind tissue from contributors who died throughout the examine interval.
It turned out that those that’d used statins had been 37% much less more likely to have atherosclerosis — a buildup of artery-clogging “plaques” — of their brains. And that partly defined the connection between statin use and decrease parkinsonism danger.
The chance discount tied to statins was “modest,” stated James Beck, chief scientific officer on the nonprofit Parkinson’s Basis.
However he known as the examine design “sturdy,” and stated there’s cause to consider statins may make a distinction in parkinsonism danger. There are completely different types of the situation, together with what’s referred to as vascular parkinsonism. It is believed that these signs come up after small strokes (areas of blocked blood circulate) injury movement-related areas of the mind.
“That is the place statins would possibly come into play,” Beck stated.
The findings are primarily based on 2,841 aged adults who had been 76 years previous, on common, on the outset. Over the following six years, 45% of statin customers developed parkinsonism, versus 53% of non-users.
Parkinsonism was outlined as having, no less than to a light diploma, two or extra “parkinsonian indicators,” together with slowed motion, tremor, inflexible muscle tissue or gait issues.
The researchers weighed different elements, to see in the event that they accounted for the statin-parkinsonism connection — together with whether or not contributors had high blood pressure or diabetes, smoked or received common exercise.
Even then, statin use itself was tied to a 16% decrease danger of parkinsonism, the investigators discovered.
Some examine contributors had been identified with Parkinson’s illness. However Oveisgharan stated there was no hyperlink between statin use and Parkinson’s-related mind abnormalities — solely atherosclerosis within the mind.
That may assist clarify why some previous research have failed to point out a connection between statins and a decrease danger of Parkinson’s illness, in keeping with Oveisgharan.
In contrast to Parkinson’s illness, which is unusual, milder parkinsonian indicators are fairly frequent among the many aged, he stated. The present findings assist the notion that blood vessel illness within the mind contributes to these issues.
That doesn’t imply all aged adults must be placed on statins, Oveisgharan and Beck careworn. For one factor, statins can have negative effects, like muscle pain.
However with extra analysis, Oveisgharan stated, statins may develop into an choice for lowering the results of parkinsonism in older adults — and never solely these with high cholesterol.
For now, there are conditions the place a statin might be thought-about, in keeping with Oveisgharan: If an older grownup has parkinsonism signs, however Parkinson’s illness doesn’t look like the trigger, a mind scan might be performed to search for blood vessel illness. If it is there, a statin is likely to be warranted.
Beck pointed to the larger image. “Mind well being issues,” he stated. “And what goes together with mind well being is total well being.”
The examine was funded by the U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being. The researchers report no monetary conflicts of curiosity.
The Parkinson’s Basis has extra on parkinsonism.
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Shahram Oveisgharan, MD, assistant professor, division of neurological sciences, Rush College Medical Heart, Chicago; James Beck, PhD, chief scientific officer, Parkinson’s Basis, New York Metropolis; Neurology, March 23, 2022, on-line