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Statins and Cognitive Function: an Updated Review


Ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the USA. Statins have substantially contributed to the decline in mortality due to heart disease. Historically, statins are hypothesized to be neuroprotective and beneficial in dementia, but recent reports have suggested an association with transient cognitive decline. We have critically appraised the relationship between statins and cognitive function in this review. Most of the data are observational and reported a protective effect of statins on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in patients with normal cognition at baseline. Few studies, including two randomized control trials, were unable to find a statistically significant decrease in the risk or improvement in patients with established dementia or decline in cognitive function with statin use. As more randomized control trials are required to definitively settle this, cardiovascular benefits of statins must be weighed against the risks of cognitive decline on an individual basis.

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Conflict of Interest

Saurav Chatterjee, Parasuram Krishnamoorthy, Pragya Ranjan, Ahana Roy, Anasua Chakraborty, Manpreet Singh Sabharwal, Richard Ro, Vikram Agarwal, Partha Sardar, Jacqueline Danik, Jay S Giri, Emil M DeGoma, and Dharam J Kumbhani declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Saurav Chatterjee.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Ischemic Heart Disease

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Chatterjee, S., Krishnamoorthy, P., Ranjan, P. et al. Statins and Cognitive Function: an Updated Review. Curr Cardiol Rep 17, 4 (2015).

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  • Statin use
  • Cognitive function
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease