Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
November 20, 2005

More Statin Business Even Though Never Proven To Reduce Mortality


I stumbled on this place after I read a UCLA article that came out Novemver 7th, 2005. The article is about Statins being a possible treatment for learning disorders and memory problems. I have memory problems, so when I read the article, I became excited. Of course having seen this, it makes me think twice. Here is the article I am referring to: UCLA Scientists Recreate 'Flowers for Algernon' With a Happy Ending; Discover Statins Overcome Gene Mutation Linked to Learning Disabilities

Anyone have any opinion on this?

JP
See also: Common drug cures learning disability

"This is mind-blowing ­ we think we have a real fundamental reason to be optimistic," Silva said. "Here is a drug that affects a key learning and memory pathway, and completely rescues the most common genetic cause for learning disabilities. We don't have to do extensive clinical trials for toxicity or safety ­ these were already completed for other uses." Extracted from the above UDLA Study.

What a load of crock. Given the clear evidence that lowering cholesterol can impair memory among other things these clueless scientists still have the unmitigated ghoul to suggest yet another abuse of this cash cow drug. As if that was not enough the tone of the article, as do so many other clinical magic drug trials, leave the readers with the impression that the rat and human tests are synonymous! Read: "Beware! Animal Drug Testing Often Unsafe For Humans" to see how dangerous this can be.

It yet again is clear, like most drugs, if there is any advantage for this genetic disease, even that is not a given by any means, there will certainly be damage to health in many other areas.... But then who cares? This is not about health but business with disease. And of course we need these carrots for more funding don't we?

See the cogent comments by Eddie Vos below.

Chris Gupta
---------------------------

This UCLA rat study is too silly to comment on. Statins are chain saws at the base of a massive biochemical tree and they will affect every branch, leaf, flower and fruit. Not only that, while 20% more women die of cardiovascular diseases than men, it is now mathematical certainty that statins don't extend the lives of women in any study ever done:

Questioning the benefits of statins

Eddie Vos* and Colin P. Rose{dagger}

*Sutton, Que.; {dagger}Cardiologist, McGill University, Montral, Que.

The assessment by Douglas Manuel and associates1 of the 2003 Canadian dyslipidemia guidelines2 is welcome, but they overlooked the all-cause mortality issue, where statins have essentially failed to deliver.1 There are no statin trials with even the slightest hint of a mortality benefit in women3,4,5 and women, should be told so. Likewise, evidence in patients over 70 years old shows no mortality benefit of statin therapy: in the PROSPER trial there were 28 fewer deaths from coronary artery disease in patients who received pravastatin versus placebo, offset by 24 more cancer deaths.6

The failure of statins to decrease all-cause mortality is possibly best illustrated by atorvastatin: while both the ASCOT7 and TNT8 trials found that atorvastatin therapy decreased the risk of cardiovascular events, in the ASCOT trial (placebo v. 10 mg atorvastatin daily) the all-cause mortality curves effectively touched at mean study end (3.3 years) and in the TNT trial (10 v. 80 mg of atorvastatin daily) there were 26 fewer deaths from coronary artery disease in patients taking the higher dose offset by 31 more noncardiovascular deaths at median study end (4.9 years). Incidentally, the ASCOT trial failed to find a cardiac benefit of statin therapy in women and patients with diabetes.

The Web site of the ALLHAT study says it best:9 "trials [primarily in middle-aged men] demonstrating a reduction in [coronary artery disease] from cholesterol lowering have not demonstrated a net reduction in all-cause mortality." What is the point of decreasing the number of "events" without decreasing overall mortality, when the harm caused by the side effects of statin therapy is factored in?

The failure of statins to reduce all-cause mortality clearly supports the call for more effective approaches. Guidelines should reflect this finding, certainly in their recommendations for women and probably in those for most men too. And the majority of studies in men are ditto mortality failures.

It is clear that HIGH cholesterol is related to BETTER thinking and learning as even found in Framingham study:

Serum cholesterol and cognitive performance in the Framingham Heart Study

Elias PK, Elias MF, D'Agostino RB, Sullivan LM, Wolf PA.

Statistics and Consulting Unit, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, 111 Cummington St., Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. pelias100@aol.com

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between total cholesterol (TC) and cognitive performance within the context of the Framingham Heart Study, a large, community-based, prospective investigation of cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: Participants were 789 men and 1105 women from the Framingham Heart Study original cohort who were free of dementia and stroke and who received biennial TC determinations over a 16- to 18-year surveillance period. Cognitive tests were administered 4 to 6 years subsequent to the surveillance period and consisted of measures of learning, memory, attention/concentration, abstract reasoning, concept formation, and organizational abilities. Statistical models were adjusted for multiple demographic and biological covariates. RESULTS: There was a significant positive linear association between TC and measures of verbal fluency, attention/concentration, abstract reasoning, and a composite score measuring multiple cognitive domains. Performance levels for three clinically defined groups were examined. Participants with "desirable" TC levels (<200 mg/dL) performed less well than participants with borderline-high TC levels (200-239 mg/dL) and participants with high TC levels (there exists 240 mg/dL). CONCLUSIONS: Lower naturally occurring TC levels are associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, which place high demands on abstract reasoning, attention/concentration, word fluency, and executive functioning.

PMID: 15673620 [PubMed - in process]

So why would lowering cholesterol [statin] improve learning and thinking? Are there any human studies to show better learning by reducing isoprenoids or ras action with statin, of course not.

Here's the whole sad statin story.

Best,

Eddie Vos
----------------------

 


posted by Chris Gupta on Sunday November 20 2005

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2005/11/20/more_statin_business_even_though_never_proven_to_reduce_mortality.htm

 

 


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Readers' Comments


STATINS AND LEARNING ABILITY

It makes sense to consider relative higher HDL levels as significantly linked to better learning ability and I hope there will be scientific studies to confirm this logic. However, it is known that statins lower coenzyme Q10 in the cells, including heart cells and in the brain. Coenzyme Q10 is involved in metabolic activity in cells - in energy output. It also has the dual role as an antioxidant to protect cellular function from oxidative stress. When coenzyme Q10 levels drop in the brain cells memory tends to be affected and there could be memory loss. Lowering coenzyme Q10 levels in the brain cannot in theoretical biology be expected to improve learning ability as all learning involves the function of memory. Statins may show improvement over the short term but their long term use must attract serious scrutiny. Taking a cocktail of fruit juices without added sugar or preservatives and light exercises may be a better option for most people. Of course, taking 15mg of biosoluble coenzyme Q10 would also be a more logical and natural choice to improve cellular function and learning ability because it is a natural element in healthy cellular biochemistry in contrast to the alternative use of statins.

BELDEU SINGH

Posted by: kate sisco on November 21, 2005 01:08 PM

 


STATINS AND LEARNING ABILITY

It makes sense to consider relative higher HDL levels as significantly linked to better learning ability and I hope there will be scientific studies to confirm this logic. However, it is known that statins lower coenzyme Q10 in the cells, including heart cells and in the brain. Coenzyme Q10 is involved in metabolic activity in cells - in energy output. It also has the dual role as an antioxidant to protect cellular function from oxidative stress. When coenzyme Q10 levels drop in the brain cells memory tends to be affected and there could be memory loss. Lowering coenzyme Q10 levels in the brain cannot in theoretical biology be expected to improve learning ability as all learning involves the function of memory. Statins may show improvement over the short term but their long term use must attract serious scrutiny. Taking a cocktail of fruit juices without added sugar or preservatives and light exercises may be a better option for most people. Of course, taking 15mg of biosoluble coenzyme Q10 would also be a more logical and natural choice to improve cellular function and learning ability because it is a natural element in healthy cellular biochemistry in contrast to the alternative use of statins.

BELDEU SINGH

Posted by: Beldeu Singh on December 1, 2005 12:35 AM

 















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