Cholesterol lowering drugs and memory loss

Talk about drawing the wrong conclusion!   This ridiculous study, already widely touted, and it was just published TODAY, examined memory loss in statin and non-statin drug users.   

Here are the conclusions from the abstract:

Both statin and nonstatin LLDs were strongly associated with acute memory loss in the first 30 days following exposure in users compared with nonusers but not when compared with each other. Thus, either all LLDs cause acute memory loss regardless of drug class or the association is the result of detection bias rather than a causal association.

Here is a quote from the lead author, Brian Strom:

“Either it means that anything that lowers cholesterol has the same effect on short-term memory, which is not scientifically credible because you’re dealing with drugs with completely different structures,” Strom said.” Or, he said, “detection bias” is more likely the reason, meaning patients taking a new drug visit their doctors more frequently and are highly attuned to their health.

Please take a moment to process this…

He admits that all cholesterol-lowering drugs induce memory loss, but that MUST be an artifact, since he tried the experiment with dissimilar drugs.

Oh, and results contrary to the mainstream gospel are always caused by detection bias, because people are just so stupid, right?

25% of the cholesterol in your body is found in your brain, where it plays important roles in such things as membrane function, acts as an antioxidant, and serves as the raw material from which we are able to make things like progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and even vitamin D.

In fact, in a recent study available on the NIH Public Access site, researchers showed that in the elderly, the best memory function was observed in those with the highest levels of cholesterol. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for depression and even death. (courtesy David Perlmutter, MD)

This is really the worst kind of junk science because he does the right experiment with the right controls, and DRAWS THE WRONG CONCLUSIONS.

Needless to say, this work was done in a pathetic effort to undermine claims by millions of statin users that they have memory loss.    Nice try, you woeful, mercenary, Kool-Aid drinking mountebank.




18 responses to “Cholesterol lowering drugs and memory loss

  1. When I was on a low dose of Lipitor I had weird, vivid dreams. I also thought my memory was a little worse, but I’m not completely sure of that.

    I’ve not noticed those symptoms on a low dose of Crestor.

    (Note: I divide the pills for a lower dose, lower cost, and presumably lower chance of side-effects, with little reduction in effectiveness.)

    I have accumulated some info on statins, here:

  2. ernestncurtis

    This may be a new intellectual low even for these people. Let’s see: Both statins and non-statin cholesterol lowering drugs aim for the same effect–lowering blood cholesterol levels–and achieve this to different degrees and via different biochemical mechanisms. So somehow the fact that both have significant effects upon mental function couldn’t be due to the fact that both lower cholesterol because they are structurally and functionally different? That’s a tough sell. What surprises me is that the non-statin drugs have such a high incidence of these side effects since their effect on cholesterol levels is a lot less than the statins. Makes me wonder if these two classes of drugs share some other biochemical effects that could be producing these results.

  3. No more statins for me. I guess that I’ll go ahead and die. Oh, right, I’m going to die anyway. Two weeks ago I was just about unable to move. Every joint hurt, major muscles were sore and I began losing my arm and my mouse ability. I need that to work. So no more Crestor. No more Lipitor. I quit the Lipitor because this was beginning to happen. They said try Crestor. Nope. No more. I have a blood pressure medicine and an 81mg aspirin. That’s it. No more. Don’t care what they say.

  4. A similar ‘experiment’ is documented briefly…
    “A blonde biology student conducts an experiment on grasshoppers.
    She pulls off one of its legs at a time and yells, “Hop.” The grasshopper hops each time until all of its legs are gone.
    The blonde concludes: when all the legs of a grasshopper are removed, it becomes deaf.”
    (h/t to

  5. Do the data show a return of short-term memory when statin use is stopped? Do the data show increases in cardiovascular disease in those who stop statin use?

    • ernestncurtis

      Bob, I don’t know if hard data exist to answer either question satisfactorily. Short term memory difficulties can be somewhat subjective and difficult to quantify. Most people who experience side effects report that they go away in a matter of a few weeks but it varies from person to person and is, as far as I know, is mostly anecdotal. There is a professor at UC San Diego Medical School who has been collecting data on statin side effects for some time but her name escapes me at the moment. is a website devoted to cataloging problems with statins and may have something on this. Duane Graveline is a physician with NASA and started the website after he experienced episodes of global amnesia after taking statins. He has also written a few books on the subject.

  6. There sees to be some big gaps in this style of research.

    I am not a doctor, and I work by anecdotal evidence. I can only go on what I have personally learned over the years.

    First of all, there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. You can have a low cholesterol level yet have a high level of the bad cholesterol, and a low level of the good cholesterol. Yes, that has happened to me. The remedy was to do nothing!!

    As cited above cholesterol is needed for a number of things connected to the way that the body functions. One example given is that of estrogen. For a woman at the change of life, those estrogen levels are dropping anyway. This might explain why the LDL/HDL gets out of whack.

    Other things can cause disturbances to memory function e.g what is known as brain fog. It is possible that some medications can cause brain fog, or the brain fog could be a function of the ageing process. I do not know the answer, but I have personally noticed that brain fog is more prevalent as I grow older.

    Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 are said to be good for brain function. The Omega 3’s can be obtained from fish oil – the fish oil tablets are a cheap source for getting Omega 3, and NO, you do not need krill oil or calamari oil or whatever else is being dreamed up!!

    More work needs to be done before any conclusions can be reached on this subject. There should have been follow up with the subjects who had problems involving memory to test whether or not it was either due to the use of the statins or something else.

  7. My experience with statins and memory issues predates any knowledge on my part of a possible link between the two.
    I stopped taking Lipitor and my memory and thinking improved.
    Years later, I started taking it again because I no longer had a prescription for the replacement statin that caused no issues that I could detect and problems cropped up again.
    Now I just hope that supplements and diet are enough.

    • @Pat–
      If by “enough” you are referring to lowering cholesterol, let me take away the pain. Don’t worry about it! As has been shown on this site countless times, the cholesterol/CHD theory is a total fraud.

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