Statins can protect against Alzheimer's disease

Jun 22, 2009

High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor not only for cardiovascular disease including stroke, but also for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, many cholesterol lowering drugs, including statins, have been developed in recent years. In addition to the cholesterol reducing effect of statins Amalia Dolga, PhD, of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and her co-investigators have demonstrated that statins can protect nerve cells against damage which we know to occur in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients. The results are published in the June issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

How die in Alzheimer's disease is complex but we know that nerve cells eventually die because they are strongly overstimulated, a process called excitotoxicity. In animal experiments conducted in the laboratory of Professor Ulrich Eisel, Department of Molecular Neurobiology, University of Groningen, Dolga and colleagues overstimulated such nerve cells.

They clearly demonstrated that treatment with a statin called Lovastatin could prevent the death of nerve cells under these conditions. The statins not only prevented cells from dying but also prevented the loss of that normally occurs after such cell death. In a previous study Dolga had showed that these statins stimulate the protective capacity of tumor necrosis factor, which is a key player in the brain's immune response.

Dolga has demonstrated in animal experiments that this has a strong beneficial effect on nerve cells and can protect nerve cells against death. A widely prescribed drug like can activate this protective pathway revealing strong beneficial effect.

More information: The article "Pretreatment with Lovastatin Prevents N-Methyl-D-Aspartate-Induced Neurodegeneration in the Magnocellular Nucleus Basalis and Behavioral Dysfunction" Amalia M. Dolga, Ivica Granic, Ingrid M. Nijholt, Csaba Nyakas, Eddy A. van der Zee, Paul G. M. Luiten, and Ulrich L. M. Eisel is published in Volume 17:2 (June 2009) of the Journal of .

Source: IOS Press (news : web)

Explore further: Chikungunya fever identified in the United States

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New research shows neuroprotective effect of lovastatin

Apr 09, 2008

High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke. Therefore, many cholesterol lowering drugs have been developed by pharmaceutical companies in recent years. One class ...

Anti-inflammatory drug blocks brain plaques

Jun 24, 2008

Brain destruction in Alzheimer's disease is caused by the build-up of a protein called amyloid beta in the brain, which triggers damaging inflammation and the destruction of nerve cells. Scientists had previously shown that ...

Statins may protect against memory loss

Jul 28, 2008

People at high risk for dementia who took cholesterol-lowering statins are half as likely to develop dementia as those who do not take statins, a new study shows.

Recommended for you

Chikungunya fever identified in the United States

5 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Chikungunya fever is being seen in travelers returning to the United States from affected regions and should be considered as a diagnosis for febrile travelers, according to an ideas and opinions ...

Boost in quest for TB breath test

2 hours ago

A simple breath test may one day show whether someone has a strain of tuberculosis that will respond to a frontline antibiotic, or a drug-resistant type, scientists said Tuesday.

Three more dead from Legionnaire's disease in Spain

3 hours ago

Three more people have died from Legionnaire's disease in Catalonia in northeastern Spain, officials said Tuesday, bringing to seven the death toll from the lung infection in the region in just over a week.

User comments : 0