For millions of people, muscle weakness and pain have been an unfortunate side effect of taking statins to lower their blood cholesterol levels. But a recent discovery could change all that.
A research team has uncovered a severe hereditary muscle disease caused by a mutation in the gene encoding HMG CoA reductase. To cure the disease, the researchers synthesized and purified Methylmevalonolactone, the normal product of HMG CoA reductase, which is lacking in patients with the disease. After testing for safety in mice, the team was granted an exceptional permit to give the medication to a patient near death.
The patient, who was previously fully dependent on artificial ventilation, improved dramatically and is now able to breathe without support, move her arms and legs, and even feed her grandchild. The researchers believe that this treatment could help dozens to hundreds of people affected by this hereditary disease.
In addition to the hereditary disease, the team also tested the medication on a mouse model system mimicking human statin myopathy. The results showed that the medication was extremely effective in treating muscle pain and weakness caused by statin use. This is the first study to link muscle problems to statin use.
The research team is now seeking financial support and collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry to bring this cure to patients worldwide. This breakthrough discovery has the potential to change the lives of millions of people suffering from muscle diseases.