Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2004 May;4(3):237-44
Stuve O, Prod'homme T, Youssef S, Dunn S, Neuhaus O, Weber M, Hartung HP, Steinman L, Zamvil SS.
Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Avenue, C-440, San Francisco, CA 94143-0114, USA
3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors (ie, statins) are oral cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Statins are well tolerated and have an excellent safety record.
These agents competitively inhibit HMG CoA reductase, which is the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of HMG CoA to L-mevalonate.
Although L-mevalonate is a key intermediate in cholesterol synthesis, several of its metabolites are involved in post-translational modification of specific proteins involved in cell proliferation and differentiation.
Thus, independent of their cholesterol-reducing properties, statins have important pleiotropic biologic effects.
Recent reports indicate that statins have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Whether statins will be of clinical benefit for patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system will only be known after they are evaluated in prospective randomized clinical trials.