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May 11, 2005

Alzheimer's Progress: Statins and a Vaccine

Researchers have followed up a hunch that Alzheimer's disease is linked with high cholesterol. Tests on Alzheimer's patients with Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, have found improvements in many of the patients.
Last year, [D. Larry Sparks, PhD, head of the Roberts Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Ariz] .reported encouraging early results from a study in which people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease took Lipitor. Now Sparks and colleagues report their final results, based on 63 Alzheimer's patients who finished at least three months of Lipitor treatment.

'Patients were better after six months of treatment than they were at the start,' Sparks tells WebMD. 'It was noticeable to their doctors at the end of a year. There were patients who were on Lipitor for a whole year and then went off it. And after a month, their family members said to put them back on the drug. So the improvement is enough for families to notice the difference.'

People who have Alzheimer's disease can have depression that typically worsens as the disease progresses. Unexpectedly, the Alzheimer's patients who took Lipitor were significantly less depressed than they were at the beginning of the study."

Other researchers are forging ahead on a potential Alzheimer's vaccine that showed some good effects on volunteers, along with some untoward side effects that included brain inflammation..
But two new studies that followed the participants suggest that the approach may slow the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease by reducing the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.

"The idea of inducing the immune system to view beta-amyloid as a foreign protein, and to attack it, holds great promise," says researcher Sid Gilman, MD, a neurologist at the University of Michigan Health System, in a news release. "We now need to see whether we can create an immune response safely and in a way that slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease and preserves cognition."

1 Comments:

At 11/10/2008 3:25 PM, Anonymous Lipitor Prescription Information said...

My name is Giulia White and i would like to show you my personal experience with Lipitor.

I have taken for 9 years. I am 60 years old. I took 20 mg for 9 years and I told numerous physicians about my pain and stiffness and was told that I had arthritis and to keep taking it. I left it at home by accident when we went on vacation and within 3 days, the pain in my legs began to go away. After 2 weeks I knew it was a very dangerous medication. I went to my new physician and he wanted me to try Pravachol. Afer 4 days on it, I was in a fog and thought I had the flu. I have been off it for just 36 hours and feel better. I am an RN and should have known that I was experiencing side effects with Lipitor, but you listen to your Doctor because you trust him. I now tell my patients to trust what their bodies are telling them. Statins can't be good for anyone but the drug companies!!!!!!!!!! They keep lowering the recommended levels so that almost everyone is considered to have "high" cholesterol. If someone is 30 and on this for 30 or 40 years there is not telling what the long term effects will be.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Joint and Muscle Pain / Stiffness.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Giulia White

 

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