Menezes, Arthur R.; Lavie, Carl J.; Milani, Richard V.; O'Keefe, James
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and places a heavy toll on health care spending, especially in the elderly population. The prevalence of stroke increases with increasing age. Over the last 2 decades, there have been substantial data supporting the use of statins in the primary, as well as secondary, prevention of stroke. Although most of these studies were designed to evaluate cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) only as secondary endpoints, the data show a significant reduction in strokes associated with statin use. There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the relationship between serum cholesterol levels, specifically low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, on CVA and the beneficial effects of statins in this setting. Furthermore, in addition to the lipid-lowering properties of statins, these drugs have also been shown to possess cholesterolin-dependent pleotropic properties that have been associated with neuroprotection. Finally, the role of statins for the prevention of dementia is still highly debatable. We examine the role of this class of drugs in the setting of dementia, particularly from vascular causes and stroke.