Study sheds new light on statin drugs-depression link

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Washington, July 1 (ANI): Scientists have discovered a possible explanation for the symptoms of anxiety and depression that occur in some patients taking the popular statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs.

These symptoms could result from long-term, low levels of cholesterol in the brain, the report suggests.

It is an already known fact that the anti-cholesterol drugs increase the risk of anxiety and depression, but till now, the reasons were unclear.

Amitabha Chattopadhyay and colleagues showed using lab tests, that long-term use of the drug caused significant changes in the structure and function of serotonin cell receptors. Serotonin is a brain hormone that influences mood and behavior.

Adding cholesterol to cells treated with mevastatin restored them to normal.

The results represent the first report describing the effect of long-term cholesterol depletion on this type of cell receptor and suggest that chronic, low cholesterol levels in the brain might trigger anxiety and depression, the scientists say.

The report appears in ACS' weekly journal Biochemistry.(ANI)

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