Statins and Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes memory loss, and problems with thinking and irrational behavior. It is a chronic gradual progressive disease. The most common initial symptoms of this disease are memory problems. Affected people do have problems remembering past and recent events. However, as the disease progresses, patients might start to exhibit some other symptoms such as language difficulty, confusion, change in behavior, lack of motivation and so on. Motor and other body functions might be lost at the later stage of the disease. This can eventually lead to the death of the affected individual. The cause of this disease is not clear yet, however, some factors have been observed to contribute to its development. The factors are genetics and environmental factors. Other factors are head injuries, high blood pressure, and depressive syndrome. Alzheimer’s disease has no treatment yet, however, the progression of the disease can be reduced. Also, the symptoms can be managed to help the patient live a life that is comfortable.

What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is divided into 4 stages. They are pre-dementia, early, moderate, and advanced stages.

Pre-Dementia Stage

The initial symptoms of this stage are often mistaken for aging or stress-related conditions. The early symptoms usually do impair the daily functioning of people affected by the disease. The most predominant initial symptom is acute memory loss. Patients do have difficulty remembering recent activities. They also lack the ability to acquire new information. Other symptoms that might present in the pre-dementia stage are difficulties in planning, decision making and a lack of focus. Patients do have a hard time making up their mind, and when they eventually do, it doesn’t always make sense. Apathy is also one of the prolonged initial presentations of this disease. It often lasts throughout the course of the disease. In addition to this, patients do show signs of depression.

 Early Stage                                      

The disease gradually progresses from the pre-dementia stage to the early stage. Most symptoms get carried over from the pre-dementia stage to the early stage. Patients do present with language difficulty, and problems with memory. The memory problem is usually the most predominant in the majority of people. However, a small fraction of all Alzheimer’s disease cases does have more prominent symptoms such as speech and language difficulty, agnosia, and difficulty executing actions. The language problems usually present as a drastic reduction in the vocabulary of the patient, and also reduced speech fluency. Overall, this leads to a general impairment of the speech and written language.

Moderate Stage

At the moderate stage, the symptoms generally reduce the activity and function of the patient. The symptoms worsen, and the patient might not be able to perform activities he could do before without stress. Some of these symptoms are worsened speech and language problems. Patients often lose the ability to perform basic functions such as using cutlery, buttoning their shirt, lacing their shoes, and in severe cases, they even lose the ability to take care of themselves. In addition to this, educated patients lose the ability to read and write. As the disease progresses, they might also lose the ability to identify their family members and close friends. There could also be behavioral and neuropsychiatric alterations. Some of such symptoms are anxiety, unnecessary aggression, isolation, irritability and walking around without any purpose. This disease can also affect other systems of the body. As an illustration, patients might have some urinary system problems

Advanced Stage

This is the final stage of the disease. At this stage, the patient is entirely dependent on his caregivers. They usually do have a bad language and speech problems. In fact, their words are decreased to about 5 or even single words in some cases. However, they are still capable of responding to gestures, and can still understand emotions shown towards them, even though they’ve lost their ability to speak. The behavioral changes in the moderate stage of the disease are usually still evident in the advanced stage. Patients might still display some aggressiveness, anxiety, apathy, and tiredness. They are bedridden, and as a result, they might start experiencing muscle atrophy. All these symptoms make Alzheimer’s patient difficult to manage, especially for their family members and caregivers. At the later stage of this stage, patients might start losing their muscle mass, and impaired locomotion. This could eventually lead to them been bedridden, and unable to eat. The cause of death in most cases is usually an external factor.

What Are the Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known yet, however genetic and environmental factors have been implicated as causes of this disease.

What are the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease?

  1. Age: The risk of having this disease increases as one gets older. According to statistics, over half of all cases of Alzheimer’s occurs in people above the age of 65
  2. Genetics: A good percentage of people affected by Alzheimer’s inherited the mutated gene from their parents
  3. Others: Other risk factors for this disease are high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and so on.

Do Statins Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease?

There have been some theories that people with high exposure to statins have a lower risk of having Alzheimer’s disease as compared to people who have low exposure to it. Even though this might be true, it largely depends on many factors; such as the kind of statin used, the race of the patient and so on. It’s been proven that high cholesterol level increases the risk of having the disease, so there is some good chance statins can reduce the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease

Do Statins Cause Dementia?

There have been cases where people have reported to have dementia due to statins, however, this hasn’t been proved. On the other hand, statins have proved useful in reducing the risk of having Alzheimer’s.

Statins and Memory

It is possible for statins to cause memory loss, however, this goes away as soon as the patient stops taking the drug, although there are not a lot of evidence to prove that statins do cause memory loss.

Statins and Memory Loss Symptoms

The memory loss associated with the use of statins may be caused by the long-term use of the drug. However, there are not a lot of evidence to prove this. The memory loss stops when the patient stops taking the drugs.


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BRUNK, D. (2008). No Links Found Between Statin Use and Memory Loss. Internal Medicine News, 41(12), p.13.

Chui, H. (1996). Alzheimer Disease. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 10(1), p.53.

Powell, A. (2002). On Issues Pertinent to Alzheimer Disease and Cultural Diversity. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 16, pp.S43-S45.