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14 May 2004
HELEN R. PILCHER


Statins may reduce brain inflamation and be good for the heart.
© James King-Holmes / Science Photo Library



Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may help to treat multiple sclerosis, a human study suggests. A daily dose of the heart medicine helped to slow brain deterioration in patients with the condition.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to arise as the immune system attacks the nervous system, peppering the brain with tiny holes. Statins can affect the immune system, and have been shown to ease symptoms in mice with a version of MS.