Not particularly new stuff - Barry Groves has linked low cholesterol to Alzheimer's - and Chris Masterjohn has explained how memory is directly reliant on cholesterol.
Anyway, you know I am not a fan of the cholesterol hypothesis.
Then I saw this press release:
Statins have unexpected effect on pool of powerful brain cells
Now you might think that there is a real positive benefit to statins that has been identifed.....so you read on:
Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have a profound effect on an elite group of cells important to brain health as we age, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found. The new findings shed light on a long-debated potential role for statins in the area of dementia.
Still sounds good doesn't it...so you read on....
The new findings come at a time of increasing awareness among neurologists and cardiologists of the possible effects of statins on the brain. Several studies have set out to show that statins provide some protection against dementia, but the evidence has been inconclusive at best. Meanwhile, there is some debate among physicians about whether statins might actually boost the risk of dementia. The new research published in the July issue of the journal Glia by Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., and first author Fraser Sim, Ph.D., provides direct evidence for an effect of statins on brain cells.
"There has been a great deal of discussion about a link between statins and dementia, but evidence either way has been scant," said Goldman, a neurologist who led the team. "This new data provides a basis for further exploration.
"These findings were made through experiments done in cell culture using human brain cells and exposing them to doses of statins used widely in patients. But this research was not done in people. There are a great number of questions that need to be explored further before anyone considers changing the way statins are used," Goldman added.
Now you may not be so sure....why would we change the way we use statins? Read on and you find that actually they have found a big problem!
"Our results suggest the need for awareness of the possible toxicities accruing to long-term statin use, and identify one such potential toxicity, the premature differentiation and attendant long-term depletion of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells of the adult brain," conclude the authors in their Glia paper.
They are saying that statins can mess up your brain in a really complex way!!!!
Read the whole thing. It is amazing how the real story - statins are potentially a big problem - is hidden away at the end.