A Common Question: Do Statin Cholesterol Medications Cause Dementia?

One of the most common concerns patients share with me at the Kahn Center is their fear that lowering their cholesterol levels with "statin" medications like atorvastatin or rosuvastatin might promote dementia. 

Indeed, the potential impact of statins on cognitive decline and dementia is still debated but their is considerable data arguing for their safety. A recent review article addressed this concern with a large analysis. 


A review of studies reporting on the relationship between statin use and dementia overall, or Alzheimer's Disease (AD) specifically, was performed.

In the pooled analyses, statins were associated with a decreased risk of dementia (36 studies, 20% lower risk) and of AD [21 studies (32% lower risk).

No difference was observed in the risk reduction of dementia between men and women.

Similar risks were observed for lipophilic and hydrophilic statins for both dementia and AD, while high-potency statins showed a 20% reduction of dementia risk compared with a 16% risk reduction associated with low-potency statins, suggesting a greater efficacy of the former.


There is no doubt that statin medications can cause side effects including musccle and joint issues, elevations in blood sugar, and "brain fog".  However, the major concern patients tell me about is actual dementia or AD.

These results confirm the absence of a neurocognitive risk associated with statin treatment and suggest a potential favourable role of statins on the prevention of dementia and AD, perhaps by reducing vascular dementia and reductions in inflammation. At the Kahn Center, all patients taking statin medications combine the Rx with daily coQ10 vitamin support. 

Dr. Joel Kahn

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