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Can statins reduce the risk of memory loss?

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Quick Answer

Statins don't reduce the risk of memory loss, according to Medical News Today. In fact, a study in the UK shows that some statins may have harmful side effects on working and recognition memory. Although these tests were conducted on rats, the impairment is similar to that reported by patients.

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Full Answer

Statins are commonly prescribed to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, reports Medical News Today. The medication is widely used, and in a recent consumer update on the taking of statins, the Food and Drug Administration warned that some users had reported symptoms of forgetfulness and confusion. The FDA revised its warning label on medication that includes statins to make patients aware of these new risks. The effects of such memory impairment when it happens was shown to be reversible in the UK study on laboratory rats once the statins were no longer administered.

Patients who are taking statins and experience these cognitive side effects should consult their doctors before they stop taking the medication, as advised by the Mayo Clinic. Although the causes of many of the side effects of taking statins are unknown, it has been shown that some patients may be at a greater risk of developing side effects, such as patients who are taking other types of medication to reduce their bad cholesterol levels.

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