September 2013, Vol. 2
eHeartlink is designed to provide general health news and wellness information. This information is not designed to, nor should it, be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or nutrition or exercise program.

Added benefit of statins: Cut your Parkinsonís risk

Maybe you take a statin to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. But new research shows the medication could also lower the odds of developing Parkinsonís disease.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at almost 44,000 people from 2001 to 2008 and discovered that those who stopped taking fat-soluble statins such as simvastatin (Zocor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor) had an almost 58 percent increased risk of developing Parkinsonís compared to those who did not stop taking the drugs. The study authors think statins may reduce inflammation and cause changes to brain pathways that are associated with Parkinsonís.

But not all statins are created equal when it comes to this reduced risk. Those taking water-soluble statins, such as rosuvastatin (Crestor) and pravastatin (Pravachol), developed Parkinsonís at about twice the rate of people taking fat-soluble statins. The study was observational, so additional research is needed to verify the link.

If you take statins, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits. Donít stop taking your medication without talking with your doctor. Need a new doctor? Search Deborah Heart and Lung Centerís online physician directory and request an appointment today!