However, there have been hundreds of cases of statin-induced memory loss reported to MedWatch, the FDA's system for filing adverse drug events.
Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb, a researcher at University of California at San Diego, is leading a study funded by the National Institutes of Health looking at the effects of statins on the central nervous system. The 1,000-patient trial is studying patients receiving Merck's Zocor, Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY ) Pravachol, Golomb says she has been in touch with many patients and families outside the study (over 4,000) reporting problems with statins ranging from memory lapses to changes in personality. New data is to be published shortly. Here is what she has to say on the study's website:
"Memory, Thinking and Concentration. Some people report changes in memory, attention, or concentration on statins. They may have trouble finding the right word; may forget tasks they started to do; and may have trouble following conversations. Some people describe "holes in their memory." Some people worry that they are developing Alzheimer's. Of course, since people on statin drugs are often older, and may be experiencing age-related loss of memory, it makes it difficult to know whether the drugs are responsible. Many people report improvement in memory and thinking when they stop the drug; or improvement if they go on a lower dose."
Bonnie - I anticipate we will be hearing MUCH more about this in the near future. In the meantime, if you are taking a statin, it is mandatory that you take CoQ10. If you have any symptoms commonly associated with the drug, you need to take high does of CoQ10.