Role of HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors in Neurological Disorders
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Reiss, A.B. & Wirkowski, E. Drugs (2007) 67: 2111. doi:10.2165/00003495-200767150-00001
- 67 Downloads
Inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase (statins) are cholesterol-lowering agents that dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with established cardiovascular disease. In addition, they exhibit pleiotropic effects that operate independently of lipid modification. Statin administration results in greater nitric oxide bioavailability, improved endothelial function, enhanced cerebral blood flow, immune modulation with anti-inflammatory action, decreased platelet aggregation and antioxidant activity. Some or all of these effects may improve outcome or ameliorate symptoms in neurological disorders. This article examines the potential role of statins in treating stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Studies are ongoing in this controversial area, but there are no firm conclusions. The appropriateness of initiating statin therapy for neurological disorders is not established at this time. The exception is stroke, in which recurrence is significantly reduced by statin therapy.