The possible benefits of statin drugs against Multiple Sclerosis ( MS) have been investigated for years, not necessarily with success. Wang and colleagues concluded [1]:

“There is no convincing evidence to support the use of either atorvastatin or simvastatin as an adjunctive therapy in MS.”

But this was as a supplement to the now standard such as interferon beta 1a.

Now comes another study evaluating the merits of simvastatin (Zocor) on its own [2], and the results are encouraging:

“…patients receiving 80 mg/day of simvastatin had an annualized rate of brain volume loss of just 0.298% compared with 0.589% among those given placebo (P=0.003)…Significant reductions in disability progression…”

This, if confirmed would be great news,  because medications against the Secondary Progressive form of MS (SPMS) are few and far between [3]

The mechanism of action of statins against MS is not that clear. Statins primarily are drugs to lower LDL,  the “bad cholesterol’. They subsequently might reduce the blood vessel inflammation, since they lower the LDL, which is fodder to oxidation and inflammation. Does not look like a direct anti-inflammatory action there, but many studies do claim direct action.

Quoting [4]:

“…The observed benefit of statin therapy, however, may be larger in these trials than that expected on the basis of lipid lowering alone…”

So maybe such antinflammatory action is happening against SPMS. But then again, the role of inflammation in SPMS is unclear.

But if it works…

Talk to your Doctor about this.

Sources:

  1. Cochrane Database ; “Statins for multiple sclerosis.” ; Dec 2011

  2. medpagetoday ; “Statin May Slow Progressive MS” ;    Oct 2010

  3. medinewsdigest ; “Possible New Treatment of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Masitinib” ; June 2012

  4. Current Control Trials Cardiovascular 

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