Apr 3, 2014 – Statins and MS

April 3, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: ARE STATINS INDICATED IN YET ONE MORE DISEASE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a common and sometimes relentless disease. Now statins, drugs usually used to lower heart disease risk, may help slow down progression of MS, a study in the Lancet reports. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, comments.

BLAHA: I think this is really an important area. Our lack of 100% understanding of how statins work inhibits us from understanding who should go on them. Because if they work entirely by cholesterol we should give them to people with high cholesterol but if they have other mechanisms and they reduce risk in other ways then we need to be thinking like the guidelines say of other people who might not have high cholesterol but are high risk and we should give it to those people. The way statins work, and we’re learning a lot from these other disease processes, is really important. :27

Blaha says statins are known to have anti-inflammatory effects, so that may account for their benefit in MS, but more precise definition is clearly needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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