This supplement was written by William T. Elliott, MD, FACP, Chair, Formulary Committee, Kaiser Permanente, California Division; Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco. In order to reveal any potential bias in this publication, we disclose that Dr. Elliott reports no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study. For questions and comments, please e-mail:

Do statins cause changes in cognition? The FDA required new labeling in 2012 regarding the risk of reversible cognitive changes with statins. But a new study suggests that statins are no worse than other commonly used drugs when it comes to cognitive changes. Researchers reviewed 27 studies in a meta-analysis of statins and cognitive function. They found that among statin users, low-quality evidence suggested no increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and no difference in cognitive performance related to procedural memory, attention, or motor speed. Moderate-quality evidence suggested no increased incidence of dementia or mild cognitive impairment or any change in cognitive performance related to global cognitive performance scores, executive function, declarative memory, processing speed, or visuoperception. They also reviewed FDA postmarketing surveillance databases and found that the rate of cognitive-related adverse events reported with statins was similar to the rates seen with other commonly prescribed medications such as losartan or clopidogrel. They conclude that b