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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer’s disease;
  • cholesterol;
  • clinical trials;
  • isoprenoids;
  • statins

Abstract

Recent years have seen a significant increase in published data supporting the positive effects of statins on neurodegenerative diseases, in particular on Alzheimer’s disease. Statins show neuroprotective activity by a combination of different cellular and systemic mechanisms that are based on the inhibition of the biosynthesis of cholesterol and isoprenoid by-products. The promising results obtained in vivo and in epidemiological studies are generally not in accordance with those of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials. Nevertheless, these results make statins valuable assets for disease prevention rather than therapeutic agents for use when disease symptoms are already displayed. Thus, the modulation of midlife cholesterol and/or statin administration prior to the appearance of dementia or cognitive impairment may have a better long-term outcome.