A new study which investigated the association between statin use and changes in memory and global cognition in older people has found that statins are not linked with cognitive decline and may actually have a protective effect on some people.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examined changes in memory and global cognition related to statin use over a six-year observation period and two years of brain volume studies using the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study cohort of community-dwelling, non-demented elderly participants. Among 1,037 participants, there were 395 statin never users and 642 statin ever-users.
The authors reported that over six years of observation, there was no significant difference between ever-users and never users for the rate of decline in memory and global cognition nor for specific memory test scores. When researchers compared data on 99 participants who started statins during the study period, they found statin initiation was associated with a lessening in the rate of memory decline.
Subgroup analysis of participants who underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) identified no association between statin use and brain volume changes.
The authors said the findings are “reassuring” for those concerned about statin use and the risk of memory decline.