Statins might fight multiple sclerosis | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Statins might fight multiple sclerosis

By
8:05pm, June 7, 2004

Statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions of people, might also help those with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a preliminary study appearing in the May 15 Lancet.

Various studies have indicated that statins—in addition to slashing the harmful low-density lipoprotein cholesterol—have anti-inflammatory effects. Scientists reasoned that this might help MS patients, who have areas of brain tissue where the fatty sheath that insulates nerves has been stripped away by an inflammation-based immune onslaught. The damage to these structures, called myelin sheaths, can adversely affect coordination, vision, stamina, speech, and thinking, and it can lead to a shorter lifespan.

In the new study, researchers gave simvastatin (Zocor) to 28 MS patients for 6 months. The scientists used magnetic resonance imaging to reveal brain lesions before and after treatment. They found about half as many lesions, on average, after treatment as there had

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content