Statins, cholesterol, Co-enzyme Q10, and Parkinson`s disease
`Statins`, drugs that lower cholesterol are widely used. Statins block cholesterol in the body and brain by inhibiting HMG-Co-A reductase. This pathway is shared by CoQ-10. An unintended consequence of the statins is lowering of CoQ-10. As CoQ-10 may play a role in PD, its possible statins may worsen PD. Such a report has appeared.
Statins came into wide use in 1997–1998, 6 years before our study began. Thus 74% of our patients on a statin had a PD duration of 1–6 years versus 56% of our patients not on a statin. A direct comparison of patients on a statin and not on a statin would bias the study in favor of the statins: patients on a statin would have a shorter disease duration and less advanced PD. Therefore we divided the patients into two groups. Group I consisted of 128 patients on a statin, and 252 not on a statin who had PD for 1–6 years. In this group, disease severity (Hoehn & Yahr Stage), levodopa dose, Co-enzyme Q10 use, prevalence of ‘wearing off’, dyskinesia and dementia were similar. Group II consisted of 45 patients on a statin and 200 patients not on a statin who had PD for 7–22 years. In this group disease severity, levodopa dose, Co-enzyme Q10 use, prevalence of wearing off, dyskinesia and dementia were similar.
Statins although they may affect Co-enzyme Q10 levels in the body and the brain, do not worsen PD at least as assessed by stage, and prevalence of wearing-off, dyskinesia, and dementia.