Statins and Neuroprotection: Basic Pharmacology Needed

W. Gibson Wood, Walter E. Mΰller, Gunter P. Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Statins are attracting great interest albeit with some controversy in treating certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Support for the use of statins has come from human studies and animal and cell models. Despite the intense level of interest, there is a deficiency in information on the basic pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of statins in the brain. The purpose of this focused review is to examine what is known and the gaps in our knowledge on detectability of statin lactones and acids in the brain, membrane partitioning and active transport of statins across the blood–brain barrier, and statin effects on brain isoprenoid levels. Statins may be efficacious in treating certain neurodegenerative diseases. Having basic information on statin pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the brain would provide insight into specific drug targets and also provide the rationale for optimizing statins in terms of enhancing brain influx and inhibiting efflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AG-23524 and AG-18357).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Cholesterol
  • Isoprenoids
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Statins


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