Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is Depression and Anxiety an Expected Consequence of taking Statins?

Several years ago, when statins were all the rage, and there were television adds every ten minutes stating that the best thing to do to prevent heart attacks was take statins, I was waiting to check out at a major department store chain. I noticed that the person in front of me was purchasing many heart healthy items and foods. I complimented her on her choices, and we began to talk of the flood of statin advertisements and that these poisons were being touted as the cure for nearly everything. The woman said that she worked for a local neurologist who told people that statins were poisons to the human nervous system.

This was something that I already knew. Lines of investigation are often too narrow. People who are told to take statins, were looking up statins. That has been the biggest mistake. I have often said that investigation is not planar or unidimensional. Doing a thorough search of cholesterol reveals its critical role in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Consideration of basic training in medical science forces one to consider the homeostatic functioning of the complex human body.

Years later, a pediatrician asked me, a non-physician, whether I thought that the statins that she was taking could be causing her "brain fog." We discussed the neurological role of cholesterol. She modified her diet, and took very careful control of her intake of statins (as in stopping them). Her "brain fogs" stopped and she never had them again.

Page forward to a recent publication (Shrivastaba, Pucadyil, Paila, Ganguly, and Chattopadhyay, 2010) cited by Science Daily. The summary revealed the finding that chronic cholesterol depletion using mevastatin impaired the functioning of serotonin receptors. Consider viewing this link and discuss any changes in medication with your cardiologist, and any possible consideration of treatment for depression with your psychiatrist, mentioning this article before allowing him/her to reach for his prescription pad.

In terms of practice, it would be especially wise to consider the importance of interprofessional consultation when practicing medicine. All too often, we tend to forget the homeostatic nature of the human body.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...