Statins could slow ravages of MS
People suffering from multiple sclerosis may be able to slow its progression by taking statins. Researchers at University College London examined 140 people with secondary progressive MS, a stage of the disease in which the patient’s condition steadily worsens. Over two years, MRI scans showed that those given a high (80 mg) daily dose of simvastatin—a widely distributed statin used to treat high cholesterol—experienced 43 percent less brain volume reduction than those on a placebo. The disability levels of the simvastatin takers also progressed more slowly, and they recorded improved scores on a questionnaire about how MS affected their daily life. “Although this study cannot provide a final answer as to what exactly is the reason for the success of statins in progressive MS, it directs future researchers toward certain pathways,” lead author Arman Eshaghi tells ScienceDaily.com. Separately, researchers have found that statins may also reduce the risk for glaucoma. In a 15-year study involving 136,782 people, those who regularly took statins for five or more years had a 21 percent lower risk of developing the eye condition.