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Statins: Do they cause ALS?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/statins/AN01360
- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
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Alternative medicine (2)
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Statins: Do they cause ALS?
Do statins cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
There's no good evidence that statins cause or trigger ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. However, there have been reports of people who have developed ALS while taking statins.
ALS is a serious neurological disorder that causes disease and death of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscles. ALS may begin with muscle twitching, weakness in an arm or leg, or changes in speech (dysarthria). Eventually, it affects the ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.
Statins are medications prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol. These medications can sometimes cause muscle pain (myalgia), muscle weakness and rarely severe muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis). But these occur as a result of direct muscle damage, not damage to nerve cells.Next question
Coenzyme Q10: Can it prevent statin side effects?
- Colman E, et al. An evaluation of a data mining signal for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and statins detected in FDA's spontaneous adverse event reporting system. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2008;17:1068.
- Edwards IR, et al. Statins, neuromuscular degenerative disease and an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like syndrome: An analysis of individual case safety reports from Vigibase. Drug Safety. 2007;30:515.
- Sorenson HT, et al. Statin use and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor neuron disorders. Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2010;4:413.