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Tuesday 30 October 2012

FDA Warning. Statins now linked to Memory Loss

This blog, on Statin drugs, is based on a Health Services Institute newsletter, dated 29th October 2012.  Visit the HSI Website, and subscribe to receive their regular newsletter.

Our regular readers will remember that, o a few years ago, I told you about Dr. Duane Graveline, a former NASA astronaut. Soon after starting Lipitor, Dr. Graveline experienced two bouts of total global amnesia (TGA). That's when all memory vanishes for several minutes to several hours. 

I was reminded of Dr. Graveline's terrible ordeal when I read this comment from one of our readers, called Kevin: 

          "Modern day super-statins are exceedingly powerful. My fear is that the doses are much too high and that dosage regimens have been developed for ease of prescribing. I also find that the side effects of these drugs correlate with the dosage. For years doctors tried to get me to take 40mg of simvastatin instead of a daily mini-aspirin and I said: 'Thanks, but no thanks.' 

          "I can no longer take aspirin and with very great reluctance, I have agreed to start with simvastatin. I insisted on 10mg tablets which I cut in half so the effective dose is 5mg. I have been guided here by the tremendous work of Dr Duane Graveline, who is a former USAF Flight Surgeon, NASA Astronaut and Family Doctor. I strongly recommend his books Lipitor: thief of memory and The Statin Damage Crisis." 

Thief of memory 

After Dr. Graveline's episodes of 'vanishing' memory he launched his own investigation of statin-related TGA. He found hundreds of people who shared their experiences of memory loss while using statins. 

In fact Dr. John Briffa, contributing editor to The Cholesterol Truth, said that when he deals with ageing patients who complain about memory loss, one of the first things he asks them is whether they are taking cholesterol-lowering statins or not. 

To further support the effects that statins can have on brain function, research into 171 individuals who complained of statin-related brain symptoms found that 90 per cent of people who stopped statins experienced an improvement in their symptoms… This tells me that there must be a link between statins and deteriorating brain function. 

In his own research Dr. Graveline discovered that certain brain cells produce their own cholesterol. Neurons need this cholesterol to function properly. When something impairs cholesterol production, it can compromise thought processes. 

The result… TGA, and just about everything in between. Including depression. 

A few years ago, The Wall St. Journal ran an article about memory loss linked with statin use. Many readers posted comments about cognition problems and TGA. One reader suffered a crippling depression while taking statins. But her symptoms disappeared when she quit. From that point, it was an easy decision. She said that risk of a heart attack "would be preferable to life on statins." 

Given that statin benefits are wildly exaggerated, that's what I call clear thinking. 

Now, after nearly 10 years the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally caught up and has recently noted in a Consumer Update that memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion "span all statin products and all age groups." 

We are yet to see if this so-called consumer update will carry any further weight.

Some additional thoughts on this article.
The FDA may have caught up - but have our doctors, the NHS, as they seem intent on continuing to prescribe Statin drugs, regardless of the evidence that they are causing serious DIEs. Indeed, I am no certain that all doctors have stopped telling us that these awful drugs are 'entirely safe'.

And what exactly is 'memory loss'. At the extreme end of the spectrum, memory loss equals Dementia. Can the FDA, or Big Pharma, or the NHS, tell us that 'memory loss' ends with a little bit of forgetfulness? Can they be certain Statin drugs are not implicated in the epidemic of dementia that we have been experiencing over recent decades.

Of course they can't; it is best that all of us started to say 'No thanks' to Statin drugs!