Prescription of lipophilic statins to Alzheimer's disease patients: some controversies to consider.
Neurol Sci. 2011 Apr ;32(2):195-201. Epub 2010 Oct 19. PMID: 20957505
Facoltà di Scienze Biologiche, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123, Turin, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common disorder causing cognitive decline in old age. It is a progressive and irreversible neuropathology with a diagnosis often missed or delayed. Cholesterol represents an important determinant of the physical state of biological membranes and in AD brains, specific changes in its membrane-ordering and Raft-organizing effects take place. A recent publication shows downregulation of Seladin-1 (selective Alzheimer's disease indicator, also called DHCR24), which catalyzes the last step of cholesterol biosynthesis in affected neurons in AD. Postmortem analysis of AD brains revealed a loss in membrane cholesterol content and this finding makes the therapeutical use of statins (especially the lipophilic ones) quite a lot controversial. Some clinical studies suggest that risk of Alzheimer's disease is substantially reduced in users of statins; however, because these studies are not randomized trials, they provide insufficient evidence to recommend statin family therapy.