Suggestions of a statin link are not new, but the results of a recent study linking low LDL cholesterol to Parkinson’s provide the strongest evidence to date that it could be real, because statins work by reducing LDL cholesterol. The study by researchers at University of North Carolina showed that patients with low levels of LDL cholesterol are more than three and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those with higher LDL levels.
When asked whether she was concerned by the new results, study leader Xuemei Huang said: ‘Yes I am very concerned, which is why I am planning a 16000-patient prospective study to examine the possible role of statins.’ Huang was quick to point out, however, that a causal link with statins had not yet been proven. And Yoav Ben-Shlomo, a professor of clinical epidemiology at University of Bristol said that it is also a possibility that LDL cholesterol is a consequence rather than a cause of Parkinson’s.
But according to Huang, the well-established link between Parkinson’s and apoE2, a gene associated with lower LDL cholesterol, supports her theory that low LDL is the culprit in many cases of Parkinson’s.
Huang says that if there is a link with statins, we could see big surges in the number of Parkinson’s diagnoses in the next five years, because at that stage, statins will have been in common usage for more than a decade.
Huang’s new study will examine the statin link. A total of 16000 patients for whom 20 years of baseline fasting cholesterol measurements are available will be involved. Another large-scale trial investigating a cholesterol link with Parkinson’s risk is underway at Harvard. This study differs in that there are no baseline data available for the study group.
Pfizer’s statin Lipitor is the world’s biggest selling drug with $12.2bn in sales in 2005. Parkinson’s has previously been linked with pesticides. Pfizer were unavailable for comment.
Lisa Richards | alfa
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine