The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Statin use as a pathway to multiple sclerosis

This post includes a summary of a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience December 10, 2008, 28(50):13609-13614

Study title and authors:
Negative Impact of Statins on Oligodendrocytes and Myelin Formation In Vitro and In Vivo
Steve Klopfleisch,1 * Doron Merkler,2 * Matthias Schmitz,1 Sabine Klöppner,1 Mariann Schedensack,2 Gunnar Jeserich,4 Hans H. Althaus,1 and Wolfgang Brück2,3
1Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, 37075 Göttingen, Germany, 2Department of Neuropathology, University Medical Centre, Georg August University, 37075 Göttingen, Germany, 3Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung and University Medical Centre Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany, and 4Department of Neurobiology, University of Osnabrück, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany

This paper can be accessed at:
$29 Billion Reasons to Lie About Cholesterol

Oligodendrocytes are a type of brain cell. Oligodendrocytes are responsible for producing a fatty protein, called myelin, which insulates axons, the long extensions of nerve cells (neurons). Myelinated axons transmit nerve signals much faster than unmyelinated ones. Each oligodendrocyte can supply myelin for several axons and each axon can be supplied by several oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocytes wrap the myelin around the axons in thin sheets like rolled up paper.
This study investigated the relationship of statins and myelin formation in cultured cells and in a trial.

The study reports:
(a) Cholesterol is a major component of myelin.
(b) Statins are drugs which lower cholesterol levels.
(c) Lower cholesterol levels disrupt oligodendrocytes from producing myelin.
(d) Lack of myelin allows lesions to form on the neurons, which disrupts signals between the brain and other parts of the body leading to multiple sclerosis.

The study provides evidence that statins impair remyelination of axons by oligodendrocytes, which could lead to multiple sclerosis.
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