Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Statin Therapy Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline: Pravastatin May Reduce Coronary Deaths. (Elderly Patients)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Statin Therapy Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline: Pravastatin May Reduce Coronary Deaths. (Elderly Patients)

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- Three years of treatment with pravastatin failed to slow age-related cognitive decline in the first large clinical trial aimed at examining statin therapy's effects specifically in the elderly.

Pravastatin's potential impact upon cognitive function was an eagerly anticipated secondary end point in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) trial, which randomized 5,804 people in Scotland, Ireland, and Belgium aged 70-82 to 40 mg/day of pravastatin or placebo for 3.2 years. More than half of the participants were women. Mean age at baseline was 75 years.

The hypothesis was that pravastatin would slow age-related cognitive decline in these patients, all of whom had good cognitive function at baseline as evidenced by a Mini-Mental Status Exam score above 24. The possibility of cognitive benefit had been strongly suggested by several prior nonrandomized observational studies involving middle-aged patients on statins.

But pravastatin showed no effect at all on cognition in PROSPER. Similarly simvastatin exerted no impact upon cognitive decline in the earlier 20,536-patient randomized double-blind Heart Protection Study which included many elderly participants and featured cognitive status as a secondary end point, PROSPER principal investigator Dr. …

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