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J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;42 Suppl 3:S315-20. doi: 10.3233/JAD-132366.

Statins and vascular dementia: a review.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.
1st Division of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.
Second Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece International Clinical Research Center, Department of Neurology, St. Anne's University Hospital in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic.


The impact of statin therapy on dementia has been a hot topic of debate over the last decade and still remains highly controversial. Among all causes of dementia, vascular dementia (VaD) is the one type that is more likely to benefit from statins. To date no randomized clinical trials have been published and no systematic review has investigated a possible preventive effect of statins on the VaD subtype. In the present literature review, we tried to identify all available data on the effect of statins specifically in patients with VaD, and to further discuss this possible association. Our literature search highlighted two cross-sectional studies, two prospective cohort studies, and one retrospective cohort study. Two of the studies found a significant positive effect of statin treatment on VaD, depicted by the lower incidence of VaD in statin users, while the others reported non-significant associations. The relatively small numbers of VaD patients and statin users, as well as the presence of confounders and biases, make the interpretation of results extremely difficult. Statins may exert a benefit in the prevention of all-type dementia and VaD, through several mechanisms except for hyperlipidemia reduction. A well-designed randomized clinical trial is the ideal study design to address the effect of statin therapy in VaD and to draw final conclusions.


Cholesterol; HMG-CoA inhibitors; lipid lowering agents; statins; vascular dementia

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