New research shows that cholesterol-lowering drugs may slow mental decline and improve symptoms of depression in Alzheimer's patients.
A small pilot study was conducted to test the drug on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease . 46 patients were followed for one year, twenty-five of the patients took the cholesterol-lowering drug, and the remaining 21 patients received a placebo. All of the patients in the study also took cholinesterase inhibitors, which are the only FDA-approved drugs for mild to moderate Alzheimer's.
Previous studies have shown that high cholesterol is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Results from this study showed that more than 50 percent of patients who took the cholesterol-lowering drug improved their mental state or stayed the same after one year and only 28 percent of those in the placebo group improved or stayed the same. Patients on the cholesterol-lowering drug also showed a significant improvement in their symptoms of depression, while those who did not take the drug showed a decline.
Thus researchers say the findings of their study are important because the data showed that cholesterol-lowering treatment works in excess of the only currently approved therapy for Alzheimer's disease. However researchers say further research is required to confirm the above findings .