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My 78 year old mum has moderate dementia but has been sort of stable until the last week, in which she started taking simvastatin 40mg but also her husband had to go in hospital for an operation which could be responsible for her deterioration.
Has anyone heared if statins making a demented person symptoms worse?

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There have been conflicting studies (surprise!) about statins and their effect on memory and people with dementia. I've heard from people who swear their loved one's dementia was connected to statins, though not all studies will agree with that.

That being said, I do feel that the trauma of her husband's illness could be responsible for her condition. It's hard to tease apart the two changes since they happened so close together. Check with her doctor and see if she can temporarily go off the stains until she is more stable. This step may or may not help, but it rarely hurts to look to medications when confusion or memory issues arise or worsen.

Please let us know how you are holding up.
Carol
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Oh boy, you got me started on the statins vs cholesterol scam. It's a windfall for the drug companies but a disaster for the majority of people taking them! Astronaut and physician Duane Graveline has been campaigning against the pervasive prescribing of statins following his own devastating experiences. You can read his amazing story here: spacedoc/rest_of_my_story.html

I recently took Mom off statins without consulting her doctors. There is absolutely no evidence that a woman of her age (93) benefits from that junk and plenty of evidence that it contributes to mental impairment. A year ago I started her on CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and fish oil as well as a couple of other natural supplements. I continued her daily low-dose aspirin, but that's it for "drugs." (Sorry, Big Pharma; find yourself another patsy...)

Whether or not the statins cause dementia directly or through diminished cholesterol levels is a matter for scientific study. As we age our cholesterol should be increased, not decreased, because it helps brain function. My mother's gradually progressing dementia can be traced back to when she started statins after a heart attack some 15 years ago. The capper is that she had another heart attack two years ago while on TWO DIFFERENT STATIN DRUGS and in spite of a VERY LOW CHOLESTEROL COUNT!

Do the doctors ever ask themselves "What's terribly wrong with this picture?" Nooo, instead Mom's cardiologist added two more drugs to the cocktail. He had her on Plavix, Coreg, Crestor and Zetia. Even her regular physician was shocked and immediately took her off Zetia, which miffed the cardiologist.

Even if statins did prevent heart attacks, the price is too high. My mother's quality of life is in the toilet, not to mention the sanity of those of us who are dealing with her issues. Frankly, my brothers and I wonder why she goes on living. I could handle it better if she were just a smiling, loopy space cadet, but it's so depressing to see the negativity, the sitting for hours just staring glumly at the wall and the lack of interest in her old activities.

When I informed my brothers about my decision to chuck the statins, they were all on board. I also told them that, in light of our mother's current condition plus the fact that she had a heart attack while on the full prescribed regimen, if she were to die of a heart attack I would feel no guilt whatsoever, and I meant it. She IS 93, after all! I have enough guilt over the coulda-woulda-shoulda of other issues, but I am at peace with how I managed her medications and supplements. Whether or not the brother she is living with for the next several months follows through is another matter, but not for me to uselessly fret over.
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Statins did not agree with my husband. He slept all the time and said that he wanted to die. He felt sick on them. So I will not let any doctor give him statins. Better to be dead than to feel like you want to die! That is my theory. I can't see living if you have no quality of life. I don't care if his cholesterol is high. He has Alzheimer's. I do not want to prolong the disease in any way!
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Statins deplete the body's Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is an enzyme that converts the food we eat into cellular energy. It is one of the most important nutrients for circulation, and a strong heart and arteries. Good circulation is important for the brain. (Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends 200 mg of CoQ10 daily for anyone using a statin drug.)
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Joseph, at the same time as stopping your mother's statins, managing her diet is of extreme importance. (This advice is not directed at curing dementia, but for cardiovascular health.) Assuming she eats meat and dairy, make sure that all beef, butter, cheese, etc. come from cows that are entirely GRASS FED. The reason for this---and the key to why so many, both young and old, have been dropping from heart attacks in the last half century---is that grains and corn are NOT a cow's natural diet. When they started feeding surplus grain to cattle it changed the composition of their blood, diminishing factors that actually PROTECT against fat deposits in the arteries. As a young girl I remember the advertising of corn-fed beef as if it were a superior method of cattle raising. We were all duped and the deception continues, because it is more cost effective to confine thousands of cattle in muddy, trampled enclosures and feed them cheap surplus grain than to herd them to and from clean, grassy fields morning and night.

You can search the internet for more info, but two web sites to go to are westonaprice.org and blog.grasslandbeef.com. Dr. Mercola's site also has information about diet for optimum health. It is important to point out that the notion that we are living longer than our ancestors, who ate plenty of meat and fats, is patently false. I have done a lot of transposing of data from church and civil records and over the years have noted that it was the infant mortality rate, combined with the occasional deadly epidemic that lowered the average life span. We have improved childhood and maternal survival rates along with sanitation and eliminated most of the diseases that kill in a matter of days, but now are plagued with diseases that take years to kill and in the interim leave the victims disabled and miserable and drugged. Sure, our parents may live into their 80s and 90s after battling crippling disease and mental deterioration for decades. I don't call that "living."

Best of luck to you and your mum!
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I'm concerned about the dosage and the muscle cramps that dosage often causes. I am on 10 mg a day and it is keeping my cholesterol down. If I were you I would question your mom's doctor as to why he prescribed such a high dosage for an elderly person.

On the other hand, any sudden changes can send a person with dementia into a tizzy, and the sooner she can see her husband again the better.
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you guys should read this book by Barry groves.....trick and treat very interesting he dosnt believe in good and bad cholesterol eat more fat and less carbs he reckons we could avoid all these illnesses its a good read!
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Not that quickly, unless there is an interaction with other medications. Go to website drugs and enter a list of all her medications. If she is anxious about her husband, that is totally understandable and treatable. Distractions like the concern for a loved one can knock anyone off kilter.
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I personally think statins are over-prescribed. Doctors check to see the ratio of low-density to high-density lipoproteins. If the LDLs are too high or total cholesterol is too high, they can prescribe a statin. However, all LDLs are not bad. Only the smaller ones are, since they are the ones incorporated into arterial plaques. There are people pushing now for more complete cholesterol tests to see the particle size of the LDL. From recent research I've seen, if the LDLs are mostly the larger size particles, they pose no risk in plaque formation. "Foam cells" of plaques will not take them in.
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Some folks use Red Rice Yeast to lower cholesterol, along with CO10. Check out Dr. Andrew Weil about this. I found difficulty with Symvostatin, (cramps in thighs, mental issues that were clearly brain related (recognizing faces)), so stopped and went back to Red Rice Yeast. With all things, it helps to weigh the severity of the consequences vs. benefits.

Still I would expect your mother to be confused, upset, scared, depressed about her husband right now. That is too big a variable to ignore. Good luck to you both.
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