Statin does not appear helpful for children with learning disabilities caused by genetic disorder

July 15, 2008

Use of simvastatin by children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder that can cause learning disabilities, did not result in improved cognitive function, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

Characteristics of NF1 (incidence 1:3,000) include skin disorders, problems with small and large movement skills as well as the frequent occurrence of cognitive disabilities, such as visual-spatial skills, nonverbal long-term memory and attention span, according to background information in the article. Some NF1 studies involving mice suggested that use of a statin could improve cognitive deficits.

Lianne C. Krab, M.Sc., of Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to study the effect of the statin simvastatin on cognitive function of 62 children with NF1. The participants received simvastatin or placebo treatment once daily for 12 weeks.

After the treatment period, there was no significant difference between the simvastatin and placebo groups on several cognitive measures (determined by testing), including assessing nonverbal long-term memory, assessing attention and prism adaptation task (measurement of adaptation of the angle of hand movements in response to prism glass distortion, which is thought to be dependent on cerebellar function).

In the secondary outcome measures, the researchers found a significant improvement in the simvastatin group in object assembly scores, which was specifically observed in children with poor baseline performance. Other secondary outcome measures, such as attention fluctuations and a developmental test of visual-motor integration revealed no significant effect of simvastatin treatment.

"The negative outcome of this trial suggests that simvastatin should not be prescribed to ameliorate the cognitive deficits associated with NF1. Further studies to evaluate a longer treatment period and whether the object assembly finding is spurious may be warranted," the authors conclude.
-end-
(JAMA. 2008;300[3]:287-294. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Cognitive Function Articles from Brightsurf:

Anxious, moody older adults are vulnerable to worse cognitive function
Some older adults with the neuropathology that causes dementia have more cognitive resilience than others, reports a new study.

New hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol can improve cognitive function of older adults
The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, together with the Sackler School of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, announced today that a peer-reviewed study has demonstrated for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can significantly enhance the cognitive performance of healthy older adults.

Examining association between low to moderate drinking, cognitive function in adults
The association between low to moderate alcohol drinking and the rate of age-related decline in cognitive function from middle to older age was investigated in a nationally representative sample of US adults.

Childhood exposure to parental smoking linked to poorer cognitive function in midlife
A Finnish study coordinated by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that exposure to parental smoking in childhood and adolescence is associated with poorer learning ability and memory in midlife.

Diet may help preserve cognitive function
According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet - high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil -- correlates with higher cognitive function.

Better controlled diabetes is associated with preserved cognitive function after stroke
Better glucose control can help people with diabetes who have a common type of stroke to preserve their cognitive function, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.

Neighborhood features and one's genetic makeup interact to affect cognitive function
Few studies have examined how the neighborhood's physical environment relates to cognition in older adults.

Does abdominal fat affect the cognitive function of older adults with diabetes?
Higher levels of abdominal fat were linked with reduced cognitive function in a Clinical Obesity study of older Asians with type 2 diabetes -- even in individuals with normal weight.

University of Miami study explores cognitive function in people with mental illness
A study funded by the Veterans Administration and directed by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has shown few differences in the profiles of genes that influence cognition between people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and the general population.

Hydration may affect cognitive function in some older adults
Among women, lower hydration levels were associated with lower scores on a task designed to measure motor speed, sustained attention, and working memory.

Read More: Cognitive Function News and Cognitive Function Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.