(HealthDay News) – Current published evidence is lacking and further research is needed to establish an effect of statins on cognitive function, according to a review published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Karl Richardson, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to examine the effect of statins on cognition.

The researchers found that low-quality evidence did not suggest increased incidence of Alzheimer disease or any difference in cognitive performance related to procedural memory, attention, or motor speed in statin users. Moderate-quality evidence did not suggest any effect of statins on the incidence of dementia or mild cognitive impairment, or change in cognitive function. The rate of cognition-related adverse events reported for statins was low and similar to the rates observed with other commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications, in U.S. Food and Drug Administration post-marketing surveillance databases.

“Larger and better-designed studies are needed to draw unequivocal conclusions about the effect of statins on cognition,” the authors write. “Published data do not suggest an adverse effect of statins on cognition; however, the strength of available evidence is limited, particularly with regard to high-dose statins.”

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