Understanding our own health gets more confusing every day, especially with the contradictory information that’s out there every time we log on or pick up a magazine..
Take statins – the cholesterol lowering drugs that some think are so fantastic at preventing heart disease they should be added to the water supply.
Do they hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimers, as some trials seem to indicate – or do they in fact cause frightening side effects like confusion, memory loss and – most dramatically transient global amnesia (where you forget days or years of your life)?
Dr Duane’s Experience
One very compelling anti-statin campaigner is convinced meds like Lipitor are causing thousands of people to suffer undiagnosed cognitive problems when – six weeks after being prescribed the drug – he went for his daily walk and forgot where his house was and who is wife was.
At that time (2001) Dr Duane Graveline was a medic of 25 years experience in a busy family practice and a stunning past career as an astronaut, aerospace medical research scientist and flight surgeon.
His frightening experience of global amnesia set him on a path of investigation which has led to three books (Lipitor Thief of Memory, Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol, and The Statin Damage Crisis.)
He’s unearthed research studies and thousands of people who have experienced confusion and memory loss on statins.
Not a Listed Side Effect
Still, memory loss is not a listed FDA side effect of statin drugs. One explanation, offered by Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, research professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, is that “in drug trials, the pharmaceutical companies often divide similar adverse effects into six or seven different categories to keep the scarier side effects under 1%.” Kauffman illustrated this point with the example that amnesia could be divided into confusion, memory loss, senility, and cognitive impairment.
So when you tell your doctor of your problems, and he consults the side effects list, memory is not listed as a problem.
Have you been prescribed statins and noticed unwelcome side effects? Share your experiences with others here. Check out Dr Mark Hyman’s information on Why cholesterol may not be the cause of heart disease.
Talk to your doctor – and if he won’t take you concerns seriously consider changing to one who will. And check out what you can do to change your life style to reduce the need for a drug at all.
You can find out more about lifestyle changes recommended by Dr Duane Graveline and other medical colleagues working in the field of statin research at http://www.spacedoc.net/.