Will Cholesterol Medications Help Treat Parkinson’s?

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Parkinson’s Treatments: Are Cholesterol Medications the Answer?

By Mark Febus, 9:00 am on January 27, 2016

A new clinical trial is set to begin in England to test whether the cholesterol-lowering drug Simvastatin can help treat Parkinson’s disease. Researchers and Dayton Parkinson’s home care providers hope the drug will become one of several effective treatments in the years to come. 

What Does the Study Entail?

Plymouth University, The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, and the JP Moulton Trust are funding the double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The program is made up of an international committee of Parkinson’s researchers who test specific pre-chosen compounds that show some potential to reverse, slow, or stop the disease. Rather than focusing on developing new drugs, the goal is to reduce the cost of new Parkinson’s treatments and find effective solutions faster. All compounds involved in the program already have a proven track record and many are used to treat other health conditions.

The clinical trial is currently seeking people with Parkinson’s disease who are not taking statins. The trial will take place in 21 centers throughout the United Kingdom.

Why Cholesterol Drugs?

In 2012, a study published in the Archives of Neurology found that people taking statins for cholesterol had a slightly lower chance of developing PD. More recently, a clinical trial regarding multiple sclerosis, the cholesterol drug Simvastatin, and pre-clinical work investigating the drug’s effect on the alpha-synuclein clumps indicated the drug may slow down the progression of the disease. 

A few studies have been conducted regarding the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and statins and they have produced inconsistent results. It appears that fat-soluble statins like Simvastatin and Atorvastatin are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s while water-soluble statins have no effect. This clinical trial may provide answers and offer researchers a more definitive answer on whether cholesterol medications can prevent or treat the disease that affects up to 20 million people around the world. To help local seniors manage the symptoms of PD, some of those affected turn to in-home care in Dayton.

While Parkinson’s research continues, seniors with PD will benefit from live-in or hourly home care. In addition to Parkinson’s services, Home Care Assistance provides comprehensive dementia, stroke, and Dayton Alzheimer’s care to help seniors manage their symptoms in the comfort of home.  Call 937-353-7997 today and schedule a free in-home consultation. We look forward to helping your loved one.

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