Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Zee, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Zee

    Zee Guest

    This is from a book about the MEMORY LOSS caused by statins.
    The writer is a former U.S. ASTRONAUT AND FAMILY DOCTOR.

    Binding: Trade paperback Publisher: Infinity Publishing,
    Haverford, PA Date Published: January 2004 ISBN: 0-7414-1881-
    91 Description: 156 pages; 5.5 x 8.5 (inches) Price:
    US$17.95 Source: Buy Books on the

    Excerpt: My personal introduction to the incredible world of
    TGA occurred six weeks after Lipitor® was started during my
    annual astronaut physical at Johnson Space Center. My
    cholesterol had been trending upward for several years and
    all was well until six weeks later when my wife found me
    aimlessly walking about the yard after I returned from my
    usual walk in the woods. I did not recognize her,
    reluctantly accepted cookies and milk and refused to go into
    my now unfamiliar home. I "awoke" six hours later in the
    office of the examining neurologist with the diagnosis of
    transient global amnesia, cause unknown. My MRI several days
    later was normal. Since Lipitor® was the only new medicine I
    was on, the doctor in me made me suspect a possible side
    effect of this drug and, despite the protestations of the
    examining doctors that statin drugs did not do this, I
    stopped my Lipitor®. The year passed uneventfully and soon
    it was time for my next astronaut physical. NASA doctors
    joined the chorus I had come to expect from physicians and
    pharmacists during the preceding year, that statin drugs did
    not do this and at their bidding I reluctantly restarted
    Lipitor® at one-half the previous dose. Six weeks later I
    again descended into the black pit of amnesia, this time for
    twelve hours and with a retrograde loss of memory back to my
    high school days. During that terrible interval, when my
    entire adult life had been eradicated, I had no awareness of
    my marriage and four children, my medical school days, my
    ten adventure-filled years as a USAF flight surgeon, my
    selection as scientist astronaut or my post retirement
    decade as a writer of medical fiction. The names of my books
    were like the names of my children – gone from my mind as
    completely as if they had never happened. Fortunately, and
    typically for this obscure condition, my memory returned
    spontaneously and again I drove home listening to my wife's
    amazing tale of how my day (and hers) had gone. Transient
    global amnesia is the sudden inability to formulate new
    memory, known as anterograde amnesia, combined with varying
    degrees of retrograde memory loss, sometimes for decades
    into the past. Until recently, the most common trigger
    events for these abrupt and completely unheralded amnesia
    cases have been sudden vigorous

    times quite subtle, and cerebral angiography. In the past
    four years a new trigger agent has been added – the use of
    the stronger statin drugs such as Lipitor®, Zocor® and
    Mevacor®. Transient global amnesia is but the tip of the
    iceberg of the many other forms of statin associated memory
    lapses that are reported from distraught patients. Far more
    common are symptoms of disorientation, confusion and unusual
    forgetfulness. These lesser forms of memory impairment can
    be easily missed in many individuals because, to a certain
    degree, that is the nature of us all. The development of
    statin drugs was an inevitable phenomenon. When two
    molecules of HMG-CoA next combined to form the ubiquitous
    mevalonic acid, the enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase was required.
    This enzyme could quite easily be inhibited and suddenly a
    multibillion-dollar industry was born with the development
    of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors known as the stain
    drugs. Whether Lipitor®, Mevacor®, Zocor®, Pravachol® or the
    ill-fated Baycol®, all use the same mechanism and are merely
    variations of the same process as marketed by different
    pharmaceutical companies to insure market access. Statin
    drugs, while curtailing cholesterol, must inevitably inhibit
    the production of other vital intermediary products that
    originate further down the metabolic pathway beyond the
    statin blockade. The pharmaceutical industry has long been
    attempting to develop a means by which interference with
    cholesterol production might be achieved beyond the point
    where these vital intermediary product originate but up to
    now have failed. The inevitability of significant, serious
    and even lethal side effects has been knowingly accepted.
    Ubiquinone coenzyme production is one of these collaterally
    damaged compounds of great concern. Biosynthesized in the
    mitochondria--the tiny powerhouse of the cell that is
    responsible for cellular respiration and energy--ubiquinone
    is mandatory for proper cardiac muscle function and the
    health and well being of muscle cells and peripheral nerves.
    In addition to statin myopathy and rhabdomyolysis we now are
    seeing peripheral neuropathy and congestive cardiac failure.
    The dolichols are another area of collateral damage from
    statin use. This class of compounds are involved in an
    intricate process of cellular activity involving message
    transport. Proteins manufactured there in response to DNA
    directives are packaged into transport vesicles that are
    shuttled across the cytoplasm to their various destinations.
    Without dolichols there would be intracellular chaos as
    various proteins could not be directed to their proper
    target and would, in effect, be dead-lettered. The post
    office analogy, though childishly simple, comes very close
    to describing dolichol's function as we understand it today.
    And there is more, much more. On 9 November 2001 Dr.
    Pfreiger of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of
    Science announced to the world the discovery of the identity
    of the elusive synaptogenic factor responsible for the
    development of the highly specialized contact sites between
    adjacent neurons in the brain known as synapses. Not
    surprisingly to specialists in the field, the synaptogenic
    factor was shown to be the notorious substance cholesterol!
    The so-called glial cells of the brain, long suspected of
    providing certain housekeeping functions, were shown to
    produce their own supply of cholesterol for the specific
    purpose of providing nerve cells with this vital synaptic
    component. Since the lipoproteins that mediate the transport
    of cholesterol, including both LDL and HDL, are too large to
    pass the blood-brain barrier, the brain cannot tap the
    cholesterol supply in the blood. The brain must depend upon
    its own cholesterol synthesis, which the glial cells
    provide. The highly lipophilic statin drugs easily cross the
    blood/brain barrier and interfere directly with glial cell
    synthesis of cholesterol. There is no doubt that the present
    notoriety of cholesterol has all but obscured its
    physiological importance and necessity in our bodies.
    Cholesterol is not only the most common organic molecule in
    our brain, it is also distributed intimately throughout our
    entire body. It is an essential constituent of the membrane
    surrounding every cell. The presence of cholesterol in this
    fatty double layer of the cell wall adjusts the fluid level
    and rigidity of this membrane to the proper value for both
    cell stability and function. Additionally, cholesterol is
    metabolized into other essential body steroids known as the
    steroid hormones and is therefore the sole source for the
    formation of the

    control the reproductive process and make possible our very
    existence. The pharmaceutical industry would lead us to
    believe that rapidly bottoming out our natural cholesterol
    levels through the use of their highly touted statin drugs
    is a relatively innocuous process of definite benefit to
    society. But as we learn more each day of this ubiquitous
    and unique substance, we must question the veracity of their
    medical advisors. Cholesterol is perhaps the most important
    substance in our lives. And now we are learning that
    statin's role in cardiovascular risk reduction may have
    little or nothing to do with cholesterol or LDL levels and
    depend instead upon anti-inflammatory mechanisms unique to
    this class of drugs. Surprisingly, we are discovering that
    our 40-year war on cholesterol through the use of drugs and
    the now infamous low fat/low cholesterol diet seems to have
    been grossly misdirected. We have become a nation of
    fattened sheep, prone to type 2 diabetes and with unchanged
    proneness to arteriosclerosis. Despite this rapidly growing
    reality, our public still remains desperately focused on
    cholesterol and statin sales have never been more
    aggressively marketed.

    Duane ' Doc' Graveline

    Author Biography Duane Edgar Graveline MD, MPH

    Born and raised in Newport, Vermont, Dr. Graveline fondly
    recalls his life on a dairy farm during the depression era
    and his eight years at the nearby one-room school where the
    same teacher guided him from the alphabet through algebra.
    Following graduation from the Vermont College of Medicine in
    1955, Dr. Graveline interned at the famed Walter Reed Army
    Hospital during the time our space pioneers were just
    beginning to study the medical effects of spaceflight.
    Becoming a flight surgeon and doing space medical research
    was almost inevitable to this young doctor with stars in his
    eyes. Soon came the Today show, international recognition
    for his research on zero gravity deconditioning , his unique
    position as medical analyst of the Soviet bioastronautics
    program, assignment as NASA flight controller and finally,
    in 1965, his selection as a scientist astronaut.