Effect of low-dose statins in addition to standard treatment on cerebral perfusion and neurocognitive performance in patients with major depressive disorder
This article was originally published here
Neuropsychobiology. 2022 January 28:1-15. doi: 10.1159/000521104. Online ahead of print.
Introduction: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent condition that has a well-known association with ischemic cardiomyopathy, probably explained by an inflammatory mediating mechanism. Statins, in addition to reducing cholesterol production, have pleiotropic effects, including anti-inflammatory activity. The aim was to assess the effect of statins as an adjunct to standard treatment on mood state, cerebral perfusion and neurocognitive performance in MDD.
METHODS: We studied 20 patients with CT with single photon emission brain computed tomography and Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Testing Battery (CANTAB), half-randomised to receive rosuvastatin 10 mg or placebo, in addition to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and reassessed 3 months later. Images were compared using statistical parametric mapping; clinical scores (Hamilton Depression Score with 17 items and Beck’s Depression Inventory) as well as neurocognitive parameters were applied as covariances (CoV) to estimate changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with both therapies.
RESULTS: Clinical scores decreased in both groups (p=0.0001); Beck showed a greater decrease with statins. We observed significant changes in rCBF expressed as larger voxel clusters (p
CONCLUSION: Short-term use of low-dose statins in MDD patients on SSRIs results in significant changes in rSCr in key mood-associated domains with improved neurocognitive performance. These discoveries, although demonstrated on a small sample, could open up a new therapeutic tool in the global management of this disorder.