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� #1
Old 07-20-2005, 08:40 AM
Posts: n/a
Default study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

Nervenarzt. 2005 Jul 19; [Epub ahead of print]

[Direct neuronal effects of statins.]

Bosel J, Endres M.

Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin.

Statins, i.e. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, reduce the risk of stroke and may have therapeutic potential for other neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, statins exert a number of cholesterol-independent (pleiotropic) effects. While endothelial, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory, i.e. peripheral, effects of statins are well known, little is known about the direct effects on neurons. This may be of clinical relevance because some statins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Recent experimental studies demonstrate that statins reduce the activity of neuronal glutamate receptors and protect neurons from excitotoxic insults. At higher doses, however, statins may also inhibit neurite sprouting and even induce neuronal apoptosis.

PMID: 16028081 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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� #2
Old 07-20-2005, 08:40 AM
Jim Chinnis
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

At higher doses, however, statins may also inhibit neurite sprouting and even induce neuronal apoptosis.
They MAY cause the brain to leak out the nose, too.
Jim Chinnis Warrenton, Virginia, USA
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� #3
Old 07-20-2005, 08:40 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

I am hopeful this study will support what we think is happening to those cognitively injured by statins.

The study was done in German and I suspect the abstract was brief to avoid errors in translation.
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� #4
Old 07-20-2005, 02:04 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

Am I the only one who thinks pleiotropic is a cool word??
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� #5
Old 07-20-2005, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

The statin injured knew: Michael, Doug, Jeff, Becky, Joy, Betty, Ed,
Steve, several here who know who they are--all knew, and the many
lurking with whom I have shared two ground-breaking studies.

Pleitropic is more than a "cool word".

The statin injured are being diagnosed with MELAS syndrome,
Parkinson's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, CPT2 disorders, McCardle's
Disease, muscular dystrophies; they are suffering from organ
dysfunction including cardiomyopathies, pancreatitis, gall bladder and
hormone related disorders, hepatitis, lupus, cerebellar ataxia, front
temporal lobe damage looking like multiple strokes, permanent vision
damage, chronic sinusitis, respiratory ailments, kidney damage, brain

I didn't look up pleitropic. I parsed it. I didn't need to do that
however, to know intimately what the pleitropic effects of statins are.

Neither do the four or more people presently posting here who suffer
from the "pleitropic effects". Nor does the friend I heard from today,
who had been diagnosed as Parkinson's, then Cerebellar Ataxia, then MSA
(Multiple System Atrophy), and now with OPCA (Olivopontocerebellar


Multi-system devastating life altering and disabling. Pre-statin a
life. Post statin a slow slide into permanent degeneration and early


For this man's wife, his children, including his daughter on the brink
of adulthood afraid to leave the family home in case her father dies
while she is studying; including his son, who has changed his course of
study to his passion and his gift, to something practical that might
help his father in his last moments.


LIFE AFTER LIPITOR: Is Pfizer product a quick fix or dangerous drug?
Residents experience adverse reactions

By Melissa Siig, Tahoe World Staff
January 29, 2004

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At first glance, Tahoe City resident Doug Peterson looks like he is
recovering from a stroke.

His speech is slurred, he has difficulty walking in a straight line,
and he can't sign his own name. By afternoon, he is so fatigued he has
to sit down for the rest of the day. When asked his age, Peterson says
he is 52. His wife Karla, standing nearby, corrects him. He is 53.

Doug has never had a heart attack, and until the onset of the symptoms
almost three years ago, was an active skier, biker and scuba diver. Now
he is limited to walks on the treadmill. Doug traces his problems to a
drug he started taking almost three years before his health began
deteriorating - Lipitor. Two other Tahoe City locals have also
experienced negative side effects from taking Lipitor or other statins,
the name for a family of cholesterol-fighting pills.

While there is no concrete evidence linking Doug's health problems to
Lipitor, after doing years of research, meeting with doctors and
talking to other statin sufferers all over the world online, he and
Karla are convinced of the connection. Pfizer, the maker of Lipitor,
claims the drug is effective in lowering cholesterol and has minor
side-effects. But as Doug and others would ask, is it worth it?


Doug, who has hereditary high cholesterol, was first prescribed
Mevacor, a statin made by Merck, in 1998. Six months later, his doctor
had him switch to Lipitor, which comes in higher doses, and upped his
dosage from 10 to 20 mg. His cholesterol dropped from 285 to a low of

"The doctor was very pleased," said Doug, "but meanwhile the symptoms

In the fall of 2000, Doug began having restless sleep patterns. His
twitching and flying arms got so bad that Karla had to sleep in another
room. One time, Doug even fell out of bed. The couple didn't think
anything was seriously wrong until a few months later when Doug started
slurring his words. This was followed by a loss of balance and the
beginning of what Doug calls the "statin shuffle" - a slow, wobbly walk
across a room. Next to slide was Doug's fine motor skills. It took him
five minutes to write four words, much of which was illegible. Finally,
he tired easily and his cognitive memory processing diminished. He had
trouble following books with complex plots.

Confounded by Doug's illness, over the next two years the Petersons
traveled all over California meeting with neurologists, internists and
acupuncturists. Doug had MRIs, brain scans and neurofeedback tests
done. Last February, Doug's doctor suggested he go off Lipitor to see
if the drug was causing his health problems. After three weeks, the
symptoms persisted, so the doctor put Doug back on the pill. Since Doug
wasn't exhibiting the most common side effect, muscle cramps, and his
liver function tests came back normal, the physician was doublly sure
that Lipitor was not to blame.

Finally, last spring, a doctor in Pasadena suggested Lipitor could be
the culprit. Doug went off the drug in May, and since then his symptoms
have stopped their downward spiral and his health has slowly started to
improve. According to Karla, his mind is sharper, his balance is better
and his speech is more clear in the mornings, before he gets tired. But
he still has a long way to go.

"Before, I was a good father and family person," said Doug, who has two
children with Karla. "At this point, I can't do that much."

A former Navy diver and owner of Sierra Tahoe Computers, a repair and
service business, Doug has had to cut down his work schedule because of
his fatigue and loss of hand coordination. He is considering going on
disability, but Karla remains optimistic.

"We are hoping he is going to get better. That's our number one goal,"
she said. "Anger is a waste of energy at this point. We are trying to
recover and get the word out."


Since Parke-Davis (later acquired by Pfizer) developed Lipitor in 1997,
it has become the number one prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug in
the United States, with more than 18 million Americans having been
prescribed the drug. New York City-based Pfizer, the world's largest
pharmaceutical company, derives a quarter of its $32 billion in annual
sales from Lipitor, according to an article in SmartMoney. With sales
expect to top $10 billion this year, Lipitor is poised to become the
largest-selling pharmaceutical in history, surpassing Pfizer's other
wonder drug, Viagra.

Lipitor is proven to lower total cholesterol by 29 to 45 percent. As
with any prescription, it comes with a list of possible side effects,
such as muscle pain or weakness and liver dysfunction. Pfizer's Web
site states, "The most commonly reported side effects are gas,
constipation, stomach pain and indigestion. They are usually mild and
tend to go away." In a nine-month study of 2,502 patients, Pfizer found
that more serious side effects, such as facial paralysis, colon
inflammation and gallbladder pain, occurred in less than 2 percent of
those treated.

Pfizer was unable to commment on reported adverse side effects in time
for the Tahoe World's deadline.

The problem, say the Petersons, is that Pfizer has not conducted any
long-term studies. Doug's health issues didn't start for two and a half
years after he started taking Lipitor. Similarly, Tahoe City
psychologist John Altrocchi, 75, was on Mevacor for around three years
when he started to develop calf pain that became so severe he could
hardly walk. He also experienced a case of temporary memory loss called
transient global amnesia (TGA), which has been linked with statins. A
day after watching the 1998 Super Bowl game, Altrocchi had no memory of
the event.

"There's no way you could prove that Mevacor was responsible for the
TGA, but it's very possible," said Altrocchi, who stopped taking the
drug about three years ago and convinced his brother, a retired
neurologist, to go off Lipitor. "Especially for older men, I think it's
wise to get off statins right away. There is very little evidence they
do much good."

While most symptoms seem to start after a few years, Ed Ontiveros of
Homewood began having physical problems within 30 days of taking
Lipitor. After experiencing muscle aches and weakness for a few days,
the 75-year old fell in the bathroom and didn't have the strength to
get up. Since going off the drug, he's had no problems.

"It [reduced cholesterol] is not worth it with the side effects," said
Ontiveros. "You may not live as long, but you sure don't want to die

Doctors are quick to prescribe Lipitor, says Karla, because they
perceive it as a magic bullet in the battle against cardiovascular
disease, the leading cause of death for Americans, and it's easier than
prescribing a long-term regime of healthy diet and exercise. But the
evidence that high cholesterol leads to heart disease is not
conclusive, said Altrocchi, and there is even speculation that
cholesterol provides protection for the brain and spine.


The Petersons say Pfizer is too powerful to take on alone, but would
consider joining a class-action lawsuit against the company. However,
lawyers have told them a lawsuit is only possible if Lipitor gets
recalled by the Food and Drug Administration. (Another statin, Baycol,
was recalled by Bayor in 2001 after 31 people died of kidney failure
while on the drug.) The Petersons filled out a complaint on the FDA Web
page and encourage other Lipitor sufferers to do the same.

Frustrated by doctors who doubt the connection between Lipitor and
health problems, the Petersons are awaiting the results of a study
being conducted by Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a neurologist at the University
of California-San Diego, on the effects of statin drugs. As reported by
the Wall Street Journal this week, Golomb found that 15 percent of
statin patients developed some cognitive side effects. In the meantime,
the couple is focusing on Doug's recovery and staying positive.

"At this point, I consider myself lucky I'm not in a wheelchair," said
Doug, who is currently in phsyical therapy. "There are no guarantees in
life. Your birth certificate doesn't come with a warranty.
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� #6
Old 07-20-2005, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

Am I the only one who thinks pleiotropic is a cool word??
Pleiotropic: the panoply of injury the statin injured have been subjected to, of which you are so casually derisive.

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� #7
Old 07-20-2005, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

Pleiotropic: the panoply of injury the statin injured have been subjected to, of which you are so casually derisive.
why did I KNOW you would jump in with the most specific of its definition..and ignore the rest

from Webster's New World Medical Dictionary:

Pleiotropic: producing many effects; multiple effects from a single gene...ie the Marfan gene is pleiotropic with widespread effects and can cause long fingers and toes,,,dislocation of the eye..and dissecting aneuryms of the aorta...

see any specificty to statin effects in there>>???

actually first time I was exposed to the word...it was simplified as meaning "additive"....

makes more sense than you do...

who knew??
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� #8
Old 07-20-2005, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

These people knew:

Pleiotropic: The woman who has contacted us who at 24 began statins as 'preventive' of illness, and has not been able to conceive but miscarried repeatedly since stopping them?

Pleitropic: The women who have delivered babies which are grossly deformed with the types of deformaties similar to thalidomide babies?

Pleitropic: The people diagnosed with cancer since statin injury?

Pleitropic: Those who have lost their homes and businesses, their life savings and are without healthcare?

Pleitropic: The people diagnosed with cancer since their statin injury, and who know cancer showed up in clincial trials?

Pleitropic: The young man who is 39 who will never work again, because pharma reps were not forced to mention statins devastating effect for Asians?

Pleitropic: The professor who lost her research grants, her grad students and her life-long work because she had devasatating memory loss, cardiomyopathy and is unable to walk because she took statins?

Pleitropic: The two men related who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's because they took statins, and who's female relative spends every waking hour researching and desperately looking for a cure?

Pleitropic: The desperate 55 yr. old once top notch management executive who who was put on statins preventively but now is so ill she is unable to work, and struggling with such devastating memory loss she cannot function to do common tasks?
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� #9
Old 07-21-2005, 03:10 PM
J. Davidson
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

A Question: are these pleiotropic disorders reversed when statins are discontinued?

I thought my husband's massive PE might have been caused by zocor, but the doc says no way. He has been put back on it. (still getting coumadin)

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� #10
Old 07-21-2005, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis


I hope that Sharon will respond since she knows more about this subject than I know. However, I hope that you will buy and read this book. Your husband should also read it. Please read it before your husband even considers going back on statins.

by Jay S. Cohen, MD

You can buy it or order it at any bookstore.
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� #11
Old 08-02-2005, 08:40 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

Would this not be technically necrosis?Apoptosis is programmed cell death and I am not sure how you could not just say this was necrosis.

Neurite sprouting appears to be how we make memories and is a glutamatergic function, particularly NMDA (and maybe AMPA/Kainate as well), but any drugs that inhibit NMDA (methadone, ketamine, DXM, MK-801) also inhibit memory forming.

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� #12
Old 08-02-2005, 08:40 AM
Twittering One
Posts: n/a
Default Re: study: statins may induce neuronal apoptosis

"Who washed my brain, but left me blind?
Who changed tthe way I see,
But left me periously near death, with nothing left,
And nothing right?"
~ Twittering
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� #13
Old 01-24-2007, 06:23 AM
First Year Student
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
crandreww is on a distinguished road

You are 100% correct, Big Pharma Sucks!! I was a victim of big Pharma, I was a 29 year old critical Care RN, who had high cholesterol...thats bad, right? Thats what I used to think, because of all the hype and propaganda produced by big pharma, and completely supported my the general medical community. My father had bypass surgery at 58 years old, and I did not want to be in the same situation, so I went to my doctor and immediately he prescribed Lipitor, yes it brough my cholesterol down, but what I have discovered since becoming didabled at 34 year of age, cholesterol is Neccessary and so is Ubiquinone, which Statins so conveniently block the body's ability to produce this essential nutrient. Which for me resulted in Multiple scattered Brain lesions as seen on MRI, and multiple holes in my brain as seen under an electron Microscope done when I had a brain biopsy. My working diagnoses when I was in the hospital for the 28 days I was there, were nvCJD,(basically a human variant of mad cow disease), and MELAS,(mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke like episodes, (shown when I had a muscle Biopsy during this Hospitalization), another effect of starving the body of Ubiquinone, aka CoEnzyme Q10.
I was a week away from being discharged to a nursing home!
When I began to slowly improve to the point I gould go home with aggressive Physical,Occupational and Speech therapies. I improved after I was started on a Mitochondrial cocktail, the only treatment that is known to be somewhat effective in treating MELAS. This mitochondrial cocktail includes, Ubiquinone...Coincidence? I think not! And neither does Dr. Beatrice Golomb MD, PHD, UCSD researcher into the Statin side effects.
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� #14
Old 01-24-2007, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 988
Mad Scientest is on a distinguished road

Where is your compassion? Think about the poor drug companies. How can they be expected to make millions of dollars selling cholesterol-lowering drugs if people discover that they�re not needed and worse can be actually harmful?

Apparently you are getting your health back, so you now have an important mission, to tell everyone who will listen your story. :wink:
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