Effects of Statin Medications on Mental Processes, Behavior, and Serotonin Levels

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Information provided by:
University of California, San Diego
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00330980
First received: May 26, 2006
Last updated: March 19, 2014
Last verified: July 2008
  Purpose

Statins are cholesterol-lowering medications that are often prescribed for individuals with high cholesterol and who are at risk for heart disease. Preliminary research has shown that statins may have other effects on the body that are unrelated to the heart. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of statins on mood, mental processes, aggression, and serotonin levels.


Condition Intervention Phase
Dyslipidemias
Drug: 40 mg Pravastatin (Pravachol)
Drug: 20 mg Simvastatin
Drug: Placebo
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Pharmacodynamics Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Statins and Noncardiovascular Endpoints

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by University of California, San Diego:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Effects of statins on cognition, serotonin biochemistry, and aggression [ Time Frame: Measured at Months 6 and 8 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Effect of statins on mood, and other cognitive, behavioral, and biochemical measures [ Time Frame: Measured at Months 6 and 8 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 1000
Study Start Date: April 2000
Study Completion Date: March 2004
Primary Completion Date: March 2004 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Participants will receive 20 mg of simvastatin for 6 months.
Drug: 20 mg Simvastatin
Participants will receive 20 mg of simvastatin for 6 months.
Experimental: 2
Participants will receive 40 mg of pravastatin for 6 months.
Drug: 40 mg Pravastatin (Pravachol)
Participants will receive 40 mg of pravastatin for 6 months.
Placebo Comparator: 3
Participants will receive placebo for 6 months.
Drug: Placebo
Participants will receive placebo for 6 months.

Detailed Description:

Individuals at risk for coronary artery disease are often prescribed statins, which are medications that reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. By lowering cholesterol levels, these individuals have a lower incidence of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Simvastatin and pravastatin are two common statins that are often prescribed for individuals with high cholesterol. While statins are effective at lowering cholesterol levels, their effect on mood, behavior, and aggression has not been widely studied. Preliminary research has shown that lowering cholesterol levels may lead to an increase in aggressive behaviors and a change in cognitive function. Serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter, is believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, as well as behavior and cognition. The direct effect of statins on serotonin levels remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of simvastatin and pravastatin on mood, cognition, aggression, and serotonin levels.

This study will enroll individuals who do not currently take cholesterol-lowering medications. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive 20 mg of simvastatin, 40 mg of pravastatin, or placebo for 6 months. Study visits will occur at baseline and Months 1, 3, 6, and 8. Height, weight, and waist circumference will be measured at all study visits. Blood and urine will be collected for laboratory testing, and standardized psychological questionnaires will assess cognition, aggression, mental flexibility, memory, depression, sleep quality, and quality of life at Months 1, 6, and 8. At Month 3, medication side effects will be monitored and a liver function test will be performed. Participants' partners will take part in a telephone interview at this time. At baseline and Month 6, some participants will undergo cardiac reactivity testing. During this procedure, participants will be videotaped and monitored for vital sign changes (blood pressure and heart rate) while they talk about potentially stressful situations.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • LDL cholesterol level between 115-190 mg/dL
  • Able to fast prior to blood draw
  • Able to comfortably read and write in English
  • Able and willing to refrain from donating whole blood during study participation
  • Willing to abstain from consuming large amounts of grapefruit juice

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current use of lipid-lowering medications
  • Symptomatic atherosclerotic disease, such as coronary artery disease, kidney failure or insufficiency, peripheral arterial disease, or cerebrovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • HIV infected
  • Medical or psychiatric condition that prevents full study participation or follow-up (e.g., active psychosis)
  • Active liver disease or unexplained persistent elevated transaminase levels
  • Major surgery or hospitalization in the 3 months prior to study entry
  • Current use of cyclosporin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, nefazodone, or any "azole" antifungals, including fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, mibefradil, or protease inhibitors
  • Female of childbearing potential
  • Current participation in another clinical trial
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00330980

Locations
United States, California
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California, United States, 92093-0995
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Diego
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD University of California, San Diego
  More Information

Publications:
Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, University of California, San Diego
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00330980     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 394, R01HL063055
Study First Received: May 26, 2006
Last Updated: March 19, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by University of California, San Diego:
Cognition
Statins
Serotonin
Cholesterol

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Dyslipidemias
Lipid Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Simvastatin
Pravastatin
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Anticholesteremic Agents
Hypolipidemic Agents
Antimetabolites
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Lipid Regulating Agents
Therapeutic Uses
Enzyme Inhibitors

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 21, 2014