Statins and Long-Term Risk of Dementia after Concussion
Concussion affects about one million North Americans each year, disproportionately involving people over age 65 years (seniors). Alzheimer’s disease is a potential long-term consequence of concussion in seniors, and strategies to prevent such subsequent disorders are a priority for research. Recent studies suggest that statins (cholesterol lowering medications) have protective effects that might prevent short-term complications of concussion by reducing brain swelling, preserving blood flow, lessening inflammation, and preventing cell death. We propose a computerized study linking multiple healthcare databases (anticipated sample size = 30,000, median follow-up duration = 10 years) to test whether statin treatment might decrease the risk of subsequent dementia in seniors following a concussion.
We hypothesize that statins might lower the risk of dementia after a concussion. We are conducting a population-based study linking multiple healthcare databases to test whether statin treatment is associated with a decreased risk of subsequent dementia among seniors following a concussion. The study population consists of senior adults diagnosed with an acute concussion in Ontario, Canada. Our primary outcome is the incidence of subsequent dementia over a ten-year median follow-up. Our pilot data suggest that statin medications might be associated with a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in the subsequent risk of dementia following a concussion.
If successful, this study may identify a new strategy for preventing neurodegenerative disorders in seniors after a concussion.