A new research has discovered that statins, the family of drugs used to lower cholesterol, might also reduce the risk of epileptic seizures in people with cardiovascular disease.
A drug safety expert at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute conducted the statistical study.
The findings could provide the basis for randomized, controlled clinical trials to test the efficacy of the drugs as anti-epileptic medication.
The study, based on a database of 2,400 respondents aged 65 and older, showed that those taking statins were 35 per cent less likely to be hospitalized with a diagnosis of epilepsy than those not taking the drug.
"Our data is compelling in that it opens doors for future studies to test this hypothesis in patients with epilepsy. Such trials would show whether statins truly have a protective effect, and if that effect is limited to certain types of statins or certain types of epilepsy," says Mahyar Etminan, lead author of the research.
Co-author Ali Samii also said that, "Our study suggests that statin use reduces the risk of developing epilepsy in persons over the age of 65 with cardiovascular disease. The most plausible explanation is that statin use reduces the risk of stroke in this population, and since strokes can increase the risk of epilepsy, statins reduce the risk of epilepsy because of stroke prevention."
The report is published today in the journal Neurology.