Background: Axonal damage and inflammatory demyelination occur in MS. Some studies suggest that statins, drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and protect neurons in MS. However, other studies suggest statins have disparate impacts on these pathologic processes.
Epub ahead of print: Paz Soldán et al. Statin therapy and multiple sclerosis disability in a population-based cohort. Mult Scler. 2011 Sep 9.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess disability progression in MS’ers receiving statin therapy.
Methods: A retrospective medical record review of an established population-based MS prevalence cohort in Olmsted County, Minnesota, comparing disability progression between MS’ers receiving statins and those not receiving statins was done.
Results: The duration of statin use ranged from 1.9 to 20.3 years with a mean and standard deviation of 6.8 ± 4 years. The median absolute change of disability among the statin group did not differ from the no-statin group. 40% MS’ers worsened by 1.0 or more on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) in the statin group and 40% in the no-statin group.
Conclusions: In this cohort, disability progression did not differ between those receiving statin therapy and controls (no statins). These findings support the hypothesis that statins, in doses currently prescribed for raised cholesterol, do not affect the long-term course of MS.
“Another negative study in progressive MS.”
“This is not a very good study as it was retrospective from case records and is therefore potentially confounded by bias. However, this study is in keeping with other recent reports of studies looking at statins in MS.”
“You may be interested to know that the Simvastatin trial in progressive MS being carried out at Imperial College, has now finished. We should get the results of this study in the next few months. This is another example of a study trying to test a drug in progressive MS.”