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Hope was recently given to users of cholesterol lowering drugs known as statins because the suggestion was that the drug there were taking would help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A new study involving 929 Catholic clergy members, with an average age of 75-years, challenges those findings.

At the beginning of the study all 929 participants were free of any signs of dementia and all agreed to a brain autopsy at the time of their death; participants underwent an annual cognitive tests for up to 12 years. At the beginning of the study 119 participants were taking a statin. During the 12-year follow-up period, 191 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease, 16 of whom used statins at the start of the study.

Researchers performed more than 250 brain autopsies that included searching for a relation between statins and Alzheimer’s disease pathology and stroke–2 common causes of dementia. The study found statin use at any time during the course of the study had no effect of pathology of Alzheimer’s disease or strokes.