And, it gets very complicated while the ongoing research tries to come up with conclusive evidence to help solve the mystery.
Cholesterol lowering statins are the worlds biggest selling drug. They are used to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, LDL, which is described as the bad cholesterol.
There are millions of people who are given this drug every day to lower their cholesterol and try to fight off heart attacks and strokes.
But, the controversy is a result of studies which have shown a relationship between low LDL cholesterol levels and an incidence of Parkinson’s Disease. Although it is generally a good thing to have low LDL cholesterol, in the case of Parkinsons, it seems to indicate a higher incidence of the disease.
In fact, American researchers have discovered that patients who had low levels of LDL cholesterol were also more than three times more likely to end up developing Parkinsons Disease. This has led to some confusion as to whether or not the disease is caused by the statins, and low cholesterol levels or whether since the people who go on to develop Parkinson’s Disease have low cholesterol, they are not taking statins so don’t have any benefit from statins neuro-protective effect.
Basically, the confusion and research leads to 2 different possible scenarios:
On the one hand, patients who have low cholesterol levels all of their lives, will not go to their doctors for treatment that would require statins. Perhaps the statins would have provided some kind of protection from the disease? Or, is the incidence of Parkinson’s Disease just related to the low cholesterol?
On the other hand, perhaps because those who go in to have treatment for higher cholesterol levels are prescribed statins, it will lower the cholesterol levels resulting in a higher chance of Parkinsons Disease.
So do statins play a part in developing Parkinson”s Disease, and if they do, what is the answer? If you are prescribed statins, it is to reduce the levels of cholesterol which can be dangerous to your health by causing heart attacks or stroke, so you cant just stop using them.
There is increasing concern that as statin users hear results of some of the initial research, they will stop taking their statin medications, leading to complications from heart attacks or strokes. The conflicting research and interpretations of the findings has led to much confusion and misunderstanding. It is important to remember that statins have been proven to help reduce likelihood of heart attacks and strokes in those who had high cholesterol levels, so until there is more evidence to prove otherwise, it isn’t advisable to stop taking the drugs.
Whatever the case, the relationship between Parkinsons Disease, statins and low cholesterol levels cant be disputed. The problem is figuring exactly what roles each play, and how much of an effect they have on one another.
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