Friday, January 09, 2009

Twitter to update TRIP Answers

I've just finished updating a Q&A on the role of statins in preventing dementia (click here). This was stimulated by a simple message published by AllergyNotes. His message was simply:

"New study supports statin's anti-dementia effects"

I followed the link which led me to a news article on Reuters and from there to the new study in JNNP.

So, well done Twitter and AllergyNotes!

One thing that struck me in the Reuters article is a quote from a commentator that states:

"He points out that nearly 20 previous studies have assessed the effect of statin use on later risk of Alzheimer's disease in older people, and the majority found substantial benefit."

Interestingly, the other reference we use was a 2007 meta-analysis of seven trials of statins in the prevention of dementia (click here) which has the conclusion:

"The current evidence does not show any beneficial effects of statins on the prevention of dementia or AD."

My point is that the Reuters commentary says the majority support the beneficial effects of statins in preventing dementia while a recent meta-analysis finds no evidence. Why might that be? I'm thinking that it might be down to the trial methodologies.

The truth is out there....


Martin said...

Don't be fooled by observational research! It's interesting to see, that in the 2007 metaanalyseis, there was no effect in the RCTs and cohort studies while there was an effect in case control studies.
I'd just like to know if the new cohort study would change the metaanalysis...

Jon Brassey said...

Hi Martin,

I agree. Irrespective of that, it's easy to see how people get confused when one piece of research says one thing and another the opposite!