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Another possible benefit from taking statins

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

The great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, "You have power over your mind -- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." Flexing your mental muscle can be a pretty big task, but if you're taking a statin, you may be getting some significant help.

Researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago took a look at whether there was an association between taking a statin and avoiding Parkinson's-like symptoms. Tracking folks, mean age 76, for six years, they found that half of the 2,800 seniors they followed developed what the researchers call "parkinsonisms" -- that is, slowed movement, stiff muscles and difficulty walking and maintaining balance -- but the risk was 16% lower in the folks taking statins.

The researchers theorize that the benefit comes in part from less atherosclerosis in the brain's blood vessels. The team studied autopsied tissue from participants who died during the study and found that those using statins were 37% less likely to have vessel-clogging plaque in their brain.

Sixty-thousand people are diagnosed with Parkinson's in this country every year. While it appears to be caused by a combination of genes and environmental and lifestyle influences, taking steps to keep your cardiovascular system as healthy as possible is a smart way to reduce your risk for a whole roster of health problems, including Parkinson's, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and more. My books "What to Eat When" and the "What to Eat When Cookbook" can help you do just that.

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Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

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