Wednesday July 17, 2019

Study Finds, Statins Can Prevent Neurological Disorder Development

For the study, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS.

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Neurological disorder
Statins, if clinically tested, could be used to prevent the development of MND, the researchers said. Pixabay

Besides treating heart disease, cholesterol-lowering drugs statins can also be used to prevent the development of a neurodegenerative disease, finds a study.

According to the study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) researchers, high cholesterol has been found to be a possible risk factor for the development of motor neurone disease (MND) — a non-curable disease that affects the brain and nerves and is also known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The symptoms include weakness, indistinct speech, difficulty in swallowing food, muscle cramps and more. In some cases, people experienced changes in their thinking and behaviour.

“We saw that higher levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) were causally linked with a greater risk of the disease,” said Alastair Noyce from the varsity.

Heart disease, Neurological
For the study, published in journal “Annals of Neurology”, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS. Pixabay

“We have well-established drugs that can lower cholesterol and we should look into whether they could protect against this terrible disease, which currently has no cure,” Noyce added.

For the study, published in journal “Annals of Neurology”, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS.

In addition to the causal effect of high cholesterol, they also found genetic associations with smoking behaviour and lower levels of educational achievement, and an increased risk of ALS.

While low levels of exercise were associated with a protective effect, more aggressive exercise was associated with increased risk.

Neurological disorder, statins
Cholesterol-lowering drugs statins can also be used to prevent the development of a neurodegenerative disease. VOA

However, of these findings, only high cholesterol emerged as a clear modifiable factor that could be targeted to reduce the risk of MND.

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Statins, if clinically tested, could be used to prevent the development of MND, the researchers said.

“The next steps will include studying whether lowering levels of cholesterol might have a protective effect against MND, and potentially evaluating the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs in people at risk of MND,” Noyce noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Why Do Women Face Higher Heart Disease Risk after Breast Cancer? Find Out Here!

The cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure

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Women, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer
Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy. Pixabay

Researchers have found that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

“Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen,” said JoAnn Pinkerton, Professor at the University of Virginia.

The cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure, with the risk persisting for up to 30 years.

“Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease,” Pinkerton said.

Women, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer
Researchers have found that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Pixabay

The goal of the study was to compare and evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer and women without breast cancer.

For the findings, more than 90 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were compared with 192 postmenopausal women.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer showed a markedly stronger association with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia and abdominal obesity, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The risk of cardiovascular mortality similarly increased to match death rates from cancer itself.

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“Women should schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and continue with ongoing follow-up after cancer treatments are completed,” she added.

The study was published in the Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society. (IANS)