Researchers from National Taiwan Hospital have reported that there may be a link between taking fat-soluble statins and a lower risk for Parkinson's disease. Statins are drugs that are used to manage cholesterol levels in the liver. For people who are already taking these medications, which is one out of four Americans, these findings are promising. The study, which has been published in the journal Neurology, does not prove the connection but does offer a theory as to why statin use and Parkinson's seem to be linked together. Fat-soluble statins are believed to be capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and relieve inflammation in the brain while modifying the dopamine pathways.
The scientists involved observed that people who discontinued their statin medication were 58 percent more likely to develop the disease. However, it is uncertain whether or not patients who are already receiving Parkinson's senior care services would experience any relief or improvement as a result of beginning to take a statin. Much more research will be needed to fully understand the connection between the drug and Parkinson's before it can be applied clinically. It is important to always talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about your medications or risk factors for certain diseases.