Statins and the brain: More than lipid lowering agents?

Anna Fracassi, Martina Marangoni, Pamela Rosso, Valentina Pallottini, Marco Fioramonti, Silvia Siteni, Marco Segatto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Statins represent a class of medications widely prescribed to efficiently treat dyslipidemia. These drugs inhibit 3-βhydroxy 3β-methylglutaryl Coenzyme A reductase (HMGR), the rate-limiting enzyme of mevalonate (MVA) pathway. Besides cholesterol, MVA pathway leads to the production of several other compounds, which are essential in the regulation of a plethora of biological activities, including in the central nervous system. For these reasons, statins are able to induce pleiotropic actions, and acquire increased interest as potential and novel modulators in brain processes, especially during pathological conditions. Objective: The purpose of this review is to summarize and examine the current knowledge about pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of statins in the brain. In addition, effects of statin on brain diseases are discussed providing the most up-to-date information. Methods: Relevant scientific information was identified from PubMed database using the following keywords: statins and brain, central nervous system, neurological diseases, neurodegeneration, brain tumors, mood, stroke. Results: 315 scientific articles were selected and analyzed for the writing of this review article. Several papers highlighted that statin treatment is effective in preventing or ameliorating the symp-tomatology of a number of brain pathologies. However, other studies failed to demonstrate a neuroprotective effect. Conclusion: Even though considerable research studies suggest pivotal functional outcomes induced by statin therapy, additional investigation is required to better determine the pharmacological effectiveness of statins in the brain, and support their clinical use in the management of different neuropathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-83
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Brain
  • Brain tumors
  • Mood
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurological disorders
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Fracassi, A., Marangoni, M., Rosso, P., Pallottini, V., Fioramonti, M., Siteni, S., & Segatto, M. (2019). Statins and the brain: More than lipid lowering agents? Current Neuropharmacology, 17(1), 59-83. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X15666170703101816