Statin drugs do not impair cognition and may actually reduce the risk of dementia, according to a new analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. On the basis of a few studies and reports suggesting that these cholesterol-lowering drugs can cause memory problems, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required statin labels to list “non-serious and reversible” memory loss and confusion as rare side effects.
But the new review, which included 16 studies, found that statins had no effect on cognition in the short term. And in studies lasting three to 25 years, statins were associated with a 29 percent reduction in dementia risk. This confirms the findings of two other analyses from 2013.