Drugs for high cholesterol or statins do not really impair memory and cognitive function, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
From 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations say that labels on statin packaging should warn that the drugs could change users' cognitive abilities, which could include attention span, problem solving, memory, and language or visuospatial abilities. The warning was based on surveillance, case reports, observational studies and randomized trials.
However, the new study has found no significant effect of statin use on the mental capacity of people with normal brain functioning or even those with Alzheimers' disease. The results suggest that the FDA should re-evaluate its statin warning.
Researcher Brian R. Ott said, "There is a need to investigate the reasons behind the differences in the review results and the initial reports on which the FDA warning was based. It could be that some of the mental changes that were reported in the case studies were the result of overdosing with statins. We found no significant effects of statin treatment on cognition and given these results, it is questionable whether the FDA class warning about potential cognitive adverse effects of statins is still warranted."