Do Cholesterol-lowering drugs cause Alzheimer’s disease?

A Facebook reel in which an unidentified man is seen hitting doctors for not knowing about nutrition is being widely circulated on social media.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  24 Feb 2023 6:02 AM GMT
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HYDERABAD: A reel of an unidentified man hitting doctors is viral on social media.

The man in the viral video can be heard accusing doctors of knowing nothing about nutrition. He blames them for spurring Alzheimer’s in many patients by inducing cholesterol-lowering drugs.

“Do not listen to doctors when it comes to nutrition. They know nothing. Alzheimer's disease is physician-caused. The reason I can say that is this. Alzheimer's disease did not occur 40 years ago, even by another name. Now it's the number four killer of adults in the United States over the age of 65. But what is Alzheimer's disease? Well, it's the going away of the myelin, the installation material of the brain, the white matter of the brain, which makes up 75% of the brain weight,” the man says.

“When the myelin goes away and you don't have enough raw material to replace it, these naked nerve fibers get all tangled up, and you all heard of the nerve tangles, right? Of the myelin. They short-circuit and your memory doesn't work. That's what Alzheimer's is. Well, this myelin in the brain that makes up 75% of your brain weight is 100% cholesterol. So you go on a cholesterol-restricted diet ... then they give you cholesterol-lowering drugs. Then you can't remember who you are because you have Alzheimer's disease.”

Fact Check

NewsMeter found the claim to be false.

In India, more than 4 million people have some form of dementia. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia, making the disease a global health crisis.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to India, Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, an overall term for conditions that occur when the brain no longer functions properly. Alzheimer’s causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour. In the early stage, dementia symptoms may be minimal, but as the disease causes more damage to the brain, symptoms worsen. The rate at which the disease progresses is different for everyone, but on average, people with Alzheimer’s live for eight years after symptoms begin.

While there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, there are medications to treat dementia symptoms.

This indicates that even those who are not introduced to cholesterol-lowering drugs also suffer from AD.

Even ‘scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease in most people. In people with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a genetic mutation may be the cause. Late-onset Alzheimer’s arises from a complex series of brain changes that may occur over decades.

“The causes probably include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The importance of any one of these factors in increasing or decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s may differ from person to person,” says the National Institute of Aging.

The entire misconception roots in an advisory published by Food and Drug Administration(FDA) where reports some of the rare cases where people experiences short term confusion and memory loss.

Over this FDA said, ‘Memory loss and confusion have been reported with statin use. These reported events were generally not serious and went away once the drug was no longer being taken.’ Which hints that the drugs are nowhere linked to the onset of AD.

Claim Review:Cholesterol-lowering drugs cause Alzheimer’s Disease.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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