Statin use linked to increased Parkinson’s risk

Statins have been widely used to decrease blood levels of certain types of cholesterol. A very large, new study presented by the American Neurological Association (ANA), in their 2016 Annual Meeting, from researchers at MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounter database, of information on 30,343,035 subjects from age 40-65, identified 21,559 Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients within this group. While high cholesterol has been shown to be a risk for PD, Dr. Huang at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania told Medscape Medical News, “(We) in fact found an increased risk with statin use…” Currently, it’s known that higher cholesterol levels have a protective effect, reducing risk of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have hypothesized that lowering cholesterol may be detrimental to this population. PD patients with hyperlipidemia are at a much higher risk when statins are introduced. This finding is worth noting when treating PD patients.