Statins’s Association with the Heart and Brain

Cardiovascular diseases remain the biggest cause of deaths worldwide, though over the last two decades, cardiovascular mortality rates have declined in many high-income countries but have increased at an astonishingly fast rate in low- and middle-income countries. Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins). It can include coronary heart disease, cardiomypathy which could be ischemic, valvular, hypertensive, hypertrophic, inflammatory etc…

Known or associated causes of cardiovascular disease include unhealthy ratios of the two smallest lipoproteins (LDL and HDL), hyperlipidemia (including hypercholesterolemia), elevated blood glucose levels, i.e. diabetes mellitus, upper normal and high blood pressure, i.e. hypertension, Lp-PLA2, lipoprotein(a) and hyperhomocysteinemia, among others. Statins are a class of medicines that are frequently used to lower blood cholesterol levels. The drugs are able to block the action of a chemical in the liver that is necessary for making cholesterol. Although cholesterol is necessary for normal cell and body function, very high levels of it can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition where cholesterol-containing plaques build up in arteries and block blood flow. By reducing blood cholesterol levels, statins lower the risk of chest pain (angina), heart attack, and stroke. Several types of statins exist such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, mevastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin. Atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are the most potent, while fluvastatin is the least potent.

statins drug
Many people who begin statins treatment do so in order to lower their cholesterol level below 5 mmol/l or by 25-30%. The dosage may be increased if this target is not reached. Treatment with the statins usually continues even after the target cholesterol level is reached in order to sustain atherosclerosis prevention. Statins inhibit an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which controls cholesterol production in the liver. The medicines actually act to replace the HMG-CoA that exists in the liver, thereby slowing down the cholesterol production process.

Apart from its affect on the heart related diseases statins has a close association with the brain. The people who do not take statins are likely to develop depression in comparison to the people who take it. Statins may have some kind of long-term protective effect against depression, perhaps by helping to prevent atherosclerosis in the brain, which can contribute to depressive symptoms. As the time passes by the chances of developing depression by the non users of statins goes on augmenting.

Statins’s Association with the Heart and Brain
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