Statins and Dementia

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Grey Lad, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Yesterday we were called in as my OH's cholesterol level had gone up. The G P recommended going back on statins. What experience have others had with simvastatin when someone has mixed dementia?
  2. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    My hubby was never tested for dementia type, but I noticed his statins (Atorvastatin) made him much more confused. Care should be taken, whatever is used.
  3. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    Salford, Lancashire
    #3 CynthsDaugh, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015

    My mum has mixed vascular dementia and alzheimers, and has been on statins for a few months now. I don't think they have had any effect on her dementia. She has declined a little bit in the last year but no more than could be expected generally with her dementia.

    Edit : she's taking Simvastatin
  4. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    if it helps I’m taking Aricept and I’m also on ATORVASTATIN 80mg I don’t think it makes me confused in anyway
  5. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    My dad was on statins for CVD, but they sent him bananas. The doctor has since said they won't prescribe them for him because of the mental confusion they caused. I don't know what type he was on though.

    Oh, come to think of it I think they were Simvastatin too. But as we still have no official diagnosis for dad's dementia, I don't know if he has mixed or not.

  6. kayze

    kayze Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014

    My husband was also taking statins, he has mixed dementia.
    I don't think they caused him any problems, the only problem I had was getting him to take them.
  7. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Statins: To Take or Not to Take

    Interesting article in BMJ Journal that questions the routine prescription of statins:

    From conversations with a chemist I trust today it appears that the evidence base for the prescription of statins is difficult to find. My initial judgement is to support my O H's reluctance to take a tablet that she may not need.
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Statins reduce the risk of a stroke. If she can tolerate them, it may be better for her to take them. On the other hand statin use is difficult to decide. I believe, even in women, they are advisable for someone who already has had a stroke.
    OH had mixed dementia, but could not tolerate statins.
  9. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
  10. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    #10 cragmaid, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2015
    I believe M had a stroke, I don't know if she has heart or circulatory problems, but I know I would be unhappy about taking Simvastatin. I hold it to blame for some of Mum's memory problems which developed as she took this drug for a long time ( I'm talking about 20 years..or possibly longer).
    When my OH had two TIAs he was prescribed Simvastatin. He is a very fit 68 year old, who ran half and full marathons and still runs 10 miles at least twice a week. He cycles two or three times weekly...up to 100 miles at a time....he is not overweight, has moderate BP and slighlty elevated Cholesterol levels. There were no blocked arteries, no obvious reason for the TIAs and no repeats. Within days he was suffering painful joints, muscle cramps, brain fog, and lethargy. He sought advice and the answer he was given was to keep taking the Statins and they'd give him something else to help with the side effects. So he went from being fit and well ( apart from the TIAs) to a wreck due to medication.
    He stopped taking the Statins and it took him three months or more to recover full health again.

    He said he would never take them again......and has kept his word.

    I'm sure that there will be many people who have benefitted from these drugs, but I would not take them.
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    #11 2jays, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    Simvastatin :eek:

    My OH (non dementia) was put on these and after a few weeks, I was 70% convinced he was starting dementia

    He has tried 3 types. Each caused their own issues for him

    Now he is refusing to take them as they make him feel and behave so strangely, and his doctor has agreed.

    There was a programme on radio 4 a few months ago, that covered statins, and raised glucose levels.

    Wish I could find a link sorry I can't.

    The gist was at a certain age, your body automatically has raised cholesterol and glucose levels.

    Any one diagnosed with glucose intolerance after 60 - it's normal to have high glucose levels, but many doctors think otherwise. if the glucose levels remain stable, there is no need for medication, likewise cholesterol.

    In my opinion.... I strongly suspect doctors are paid to medicate the "new medical issue" and if it's not diabetes, it's cholesterol or some other "medical issue" - one size fits all - so they prescribe and get paid....

    Leaving the poor patient struggling in some cases, thinking they have to take these tablets, otherwise.....

    when in reality the tablets are not suitable for everyone.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  12. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Forgot to super fit OH is non Dementia. :D:D
  13. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    My husband with VasDem has been on simvastatin for years, he has had lots of TIAs so guess he needs them but hadn't realised the possible link between statins and dementia. I shall ask the Dr next time we see him.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  14. Casbow

    Casbow Registered User

    Sep 3, 2013
    Taking Statins

    Reading the post from talking point members, I have to say that I have never heard about this possible connection with dementia. Now I am actually quite angry that this could be the cause of my precious husbands dementia. We moved here nearly 16 years ago and had to register with a new doctors surgery. We both had to have various tests to start with clear picture of our health which was good, as far as we knew apart from being smokers. I got a clear result but my husband was put on Simvisatin,and 3 other tablets. As far as we knew he was perfectly healthy apart from the smoking risk. To cut a long story short the first thing that happened was impotence and then after a some time I noticed he wasn't doing anything in or out of the house quite as well as he used to.When he was 65 (8 years later) he was diognosed with vascular dementia. now he is so bad that I don't know how much longer i can cope. We stopped smoking just a few months after moving here so helped ourselves to be well in that way. When I look back I think he was not functioning properly for a long while before he was diognosed. If it was anything to do with statins I curse the day we moved house and had to change doctors.
  15. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Statins are one of the most controversial drugs around, allegations that the side effects are being played down, There's a link to the whole article below but here's the salient points:
    The man in question is Sir Rory Collins of Oxford University:
    "His research helped shape NHS guidelines issued last year recommending that GPs offer them to around 40 per cent of all adults"
    "Professor Collins has acknowledged that his earlier studies looking at the benefits of statins did not properly investigate all the side effects"
    "One of the main worries surrounding statins is that too little is known about the risks, as drug companies fail to publish data."
    Those 3 quotes about sum it all up the man who helped the NHS make the decision now admits that they didn't investigate the side effects and the drug companies failed publish the figures.
    I'm no scientist so I don't know, but it's quite worrying that when the scientist involved admits he didn't do the job properly and is now going back to reinvestigate the evidence anyone quoting the evidence is quoting someone who now thinks he may have got it wrong.
    I have no axe to grind with statins but the "facts" are far from clear.
    I was taken off statins when my doctor said how good my cholesterol level were and I said I hadn't taken them for 2 years because of the side effects and anyway simvastatin shouldn't be prescribed for someone taking Amlodipine she agreed and took me off. Time will tell as they say.
  16. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Hi Kevini thanks for your post. I support my OH's decision that the statins will remain in the box. As you say the drug companies are not obliged to publish the results of all their tests.

    This is the point I continually make about the use of antidepressants for mild to moderate depression. It is the same tale over not publishing all the test results. My O H declined them over a year ago when the Memory Service pestered her about mood. We both know how to keep our spirits up.
  17. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    I don't know anything about statins but from the posts here they seem to effect people differently. If they can't be taken the problem of high cholesterol is still a problem. Apart from weight control how else is it lowered? Diet? Just interested.
  18. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    My OH uses diet

    his levels in sugar and cholesterol were only slightly high

    "You are not the A-Typical shape for diabetes 2, so diet may help, but your work pressure and high cholesterol, you had better take these" said the doctor

    1J took early retirement after trying the tables

    So far, after a year, his levels are relatively stable

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  19. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    Hi Kevinl I would like to know what the side effects are I was put on atorvastatin 80mg last September by the hospital after my heart attack obliviously my cholesterol was high however it's now down to 3.1 I also take Aricept. As yet I don't recognise any side effects
  20. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    OH has been on Simvastatin for years and years and I don't believe that it has had any side effects. I think the question for his health is that the benefits for his heart condition and allied problems outweighed the other risks.

    I am unable to take statins because they effect my liver and this apparently is quite common. Strangely enough, vitamin B supplements have a similar effect on me and yet they are beneficial for dementia patients.

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