[en] Alzheimer Disease/prevention & control ; Humans ; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use ; Stroke/prevention & control
[en] Statins are essential drugs for the prevention of coronary artery disease. There is now evidence that they can also prevent ischemic stroke. The protective effect is related to the reduction in total and LDL cholesterol levels and the clinical benefit is especially high in secondary prevention patients with previous stroke and/or transient ischemic accident. The favourable role of statins is less well documented during an acute stroke than during an acute coronary syndrome, and certainly deserves further studies. Besides their specific cholesterol-lowering effect, statins exert various pleiotropic effects, which probably contribute to vascular protection. Furthermore, statins are able to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid peptide, which plays a key-role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. However, currently available results are heterogeneous and could not firmly support a protective effect of statins in dementia in general, neither in Alzheimer disease more specifically, nor in the reduction of cognitive function in the elderly. Several ongoing trials should confirm or not confirm this new potential indication of statins in a near future.