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Effect of Statins on Cognitive Function Unclear

Despite FDA warning, further evidence is needed to establish an effect

Effect of Statins on Cognitive Function Unclear

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Current published evidence is lacking and further research is needed to establish an effect of statins on cognitive function, according to a review published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Karl Richardson, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to examine the effect of statins on cognition.

The researchers found that low-quality evidence did not suggest increased incidence of Alzheimer disease or any difference in cognitive performance related to procedural memory, attention, or motor speed in statin users. Moderate-quality evidence did not suggest any effect of statins on the incidence of dementia or mild cognitive impairment, or change in cognitive function. The rate of cognition-related adverse events reported for statins was low and similar to the rates observed with other commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications, in U.S. Food and Drug Administration post-marketing surveillance databases.

"Larger and better-designed studies are needed to draw unequivocal conclusions about the effect of statins on cognition," the authors write. "Published data do not suggest an adverse effect of statins on cognition; however, the strength of available evidence is limited, particularly with regard to high-dose statins."

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