January 25, 2020

Statin drugs may help reduce the incidence of brain lesions in MS patients

There has been a lot in the news lately about statin drugs being used to treat high cholesterol in many individuals.  They prevent cholesterol from being produced in the liver and also prevent cholesterol from entering the bloodstream.  Some people believe that statins are being over prescribed, though, and that they do not really provide a great benefit to people. Still, others argue that they truly help with inflammation and prevent the cholesterol from rising and causing additional harm.  But why are we discussing cholesterol drugs in a multiple sclerosis blog?  Well, a new study has found that cholesterol drugs such as statins may not only help lower a person’s cholesterol, but may also be a helpful treatment option for multiple sclerosis.

According to Drug Watch, researchers conducted a study with eighty-one participants who had been diagnosed with early-stage multiple sclerosis.  The researchers randomly assigned half of the group to receive a dose of Lipitor, a popular statin, while the other half received a placebo.  At the end of the study, the researchers found that over half of the participants taking the Lipitor did not develop any new multiple sclerosis brain lesions.  For those taking the placebo, only thirty percent reported no new lesions.  The results seem to indicate that there is a mechanism in the statin drug that impacts a person’s neurology.  The study is even more interesting because it was conducted over a year, thereby truly validating the results.

Of course, additional studies will need to be conducted regarding just how these statins may impact multiple sclerosis and what, if any, side effects the drugs may cause in patients.  Furthermore, since this study only dealt with a specific statin, it will likely be important that other statins are tested to see if their effects are the same.  As there is currently no cure for the disease and it effects millions of people, uncovering a treatment option that may stave off further neurological impairment would be wonderful.  If you currently have multiple sclerosis and are on statin drugs for high cholesterol you may want to ask your doctor about cross treating the disease.  It is possible that he could monitor new growths on your brain depending on the dosage of statins that you are taking.  It would be great if you could take one pill that both lowers your cholesterol, thereby protecting your heart, while also lower the incidence of brain lesions, thereby protecting your brain.

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