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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

The Complex Actions of Statins in Brain and their Relevance for Alzheimer`s Disease Treatment: An Analytical Review

Author(s): Ayde Mendoza-Oliva, Angelica Zepeda and Clorinda Arias

Volume 11 , Issue 9 , 2014

Page: [817 - 833] Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/1567205011666141001114858

Price: $65


In view that several studies have shown a positive correlation between high cholesterol and an increase in the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) statins have been proposed as alternative drugs for its treatment and/or prevention. However, the potential benefits of statins remain controversial. Although they have lipid-lowering properties, statins also have pleiotropic effects that are unrelated to cholesterol reduction and have a wide range of biological implications whose consequences in brain function have not been fully characterized. In this work we analyze different studies that have reported both, beneficial and toxic effects for statins in the central nervous system (CNS), and we revise the literature that claims their potential for treating AD. First, we present an overview of the cholesterol metabolism and its regulation in the brain in order to provide the framework for understanding the pathological association between altered cholesterol and AD. Then, we describe the cholesterol-lowering and pleiotropic properties of statins that have been reported in vivo and in in vitro models. We conclude that the effects of statins in the brain are broad and complex and that their use for treating several diseases including AD should be carefully analyzed given their multiple and broad effects.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta, cholesterol pathway, HMG-CoA reductase, isoprenoids, neuroprotection, neurotoxicity, statins.

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