Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 : A recent study has found that in patients on statin therapy, the addition of a cholesterol-slashing drug did not impair brain function.
A new class of cholesterol lowering drugs, PCSK9 inhibitors, effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels beyond current treatment targets and new research showed that these lower levels result in a reduction in adverse cardiovascular events, making these drugs attractive treatment options for patients who do not achieve their target cholesterol level with statin therapy alone.
However, previous research had raised the possibility that a low level of LDL cholesterol and/or use of statins may negatively impact memory and overall cognition.
New research led by the TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women's Hospital in collaboration with Brown University and the University of Geneva reassuringly finds no association between the use of the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab and a decline in memory or cognitive function.
"After an average of 19 months of treatment, our data show that changes in memory and cognitive function were very small and similar between patients treated with evolocumab and those treated with placebo," said senior investigator Robert Giugliano.
"These data should reassure physicians and patients who may have had questions about the safety of this drug as it pertains to cognitive impairment." "We examined tests of potential adverse effects of the treatment on not only memory but also attention and reaction time that are important aspects of cognition that could seriously impact daily functioning," said researcher Brian R.
Ott. "We found no significant differences during the course of the study between the active and placebo treatment groups for any of these cognitive domains.
Results of cognitive testing also did not vary by the achieved level of low-density (bad) cholesterol, including the group who were treated with evolocumab and achieved low-density cholesterol below 25 mg/dL, a level that is far below current treatment goals.
The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions..