A new study suggests that high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and that the use of statins may not lower Parkinson’s disease risk. Findings from the study are published in the journal Movement Disorders.
Previous research has shown a link between high blood cholesterol and a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease. Some recent epidemiology studies have shown that the use of statins has also been tied to a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences evaluated blood cholesterol levels, medications, and Parkinson’s disease status in patients enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Patients’ cholesterol readings were obtained at 3-year intervals over a decade from 1987-1989.
Results supported previous findings that high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were tied to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. However, statin use seemed to increase Parkinson’s disease risk in the long-term.
Further research is needed to assess if and why cholesterol may protect against Parkinson’s disease. Coenzyme Q10, a compound produced with cholesterol, may also be a possible area of future Parkinson’s disease study, researchers note.
For more information visit MovementDisorders.org.