Simvastatin Causes Changes in Affective Processes in Elderly Volunteers*.
That's the title of a report published on page 70 of the January 2006 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Is this important? I think so. It demonstrates that at least one of the statin drugs does something to change mood. It probably does it by bringing about changes in the brain - either in its structure or in its operation.
Nevertheless, you might ask, how can a drug that lowers cholesterol change your brain? To start, brain tissue contains a lot of lipid/fat. Every nerve, for example, is coated with it, like the insulation on a wire. It's called the myelin sheath. Logically, then, anything that can lower lipid levels is likely to lower it throughout the body - including the brain.
There is no solid evidence that cholesterol itself causes any medical problems, including heart disease. Merely lowering cholesterol will not reduce the risk of heart disease. This is a fact.
Clearly, elevated cholesterol is associated with disease but that does not mean that it causes the disease. Instead, I am convinced that heart disease and elevated cholesterol are probably the result of the same underlying thing.
The fact that cholesterol levels fall when people take certain B-vitamins suggests strongly that elevated cholesterol is the result of a nutritional deficiency or imbalance. It seems very clear, then, that correcting a nutritional problem can lower cholesterol and reduce risk. However, that's too simple an explanation. Why improve your diet when there's a drug available (tongue firmly planted in cheek)?
The title of this page is "Statins Can Make You Dumb?" because there seems to be a logical connection between lowering lipid levels and brain functions. The study makes a clear point that aggressively lowering lipids with simvastatin changes *affect (mood). If it can do that it can also make other changes in brain function - like thinking, memory, and so on.
I conclude that using chemicals to lower lipids probably have a negative impact on the overall functioning of the brain.
Would you really want to have a healthy heart and be too stupid to enjoy it?
Simvastatin (ZOCOR) is a lipid-lowering drug. It isn't the only one but it's the one mentioned in this study.
*DEFINITION: AFFECT is a subjectively experienced feeling state (emotion) and the observable behavior that represents it.
*Simvastatin Causes Changes in Affective Processes in Elderly Volunteers
Authors: Morales, Knashawn1; Wittink, Marsha2; Datto, Catherine; DiFilippo, Suzanne; Cary, Mark1; TenHave, Thomas; Katz, Ira R.
Please read everything you can about Statins. I am extremely passionate about this topic and I'm standing up and yelling about it.
Here are links to every article or blog post I've made regarding the subject: