former NASA Astronaut, USAF Flight Surgeon,
Space Medicine Research Scientist, Family Doctor
Try to imagine the complete inability to formulate new memory. This condition is known as transient global amnesia, now known to be associated with statin drug use. My first encounter occurred six weeks after my annual astronaut physical at Johnson Space Center. Despite regular exercise, weight maintenance and proper diet my total serum cholesterol had risen to 250 mg and the recommendation of the flight surgeons there was to start Lipitor, 10 mg daily.
My wife noticed me walking aimlessly about the yard after my return from my usual walk. I did not know who she was and would not enter our house. Our family doctor referred me immediately to a neurologist and finally, in the office of the neurologist, my senses returned to normal. Following a negative MRI the following day, the diagnosis of transient global amnesia was made. I discontinued Lipitor because I suspected it was the cause.
At my next NASA physical I was assured that statin drugs do not do this. Reluctantly I started again with 5 mg, daily, one-half my previous dose. Six weeks later I descended again into the black pit of amnesia, this time for an extraordinary 12 hours. In addition to the mainly antegrade amnesia which characterized my first attack, this time I had a retrograde element all the way back to my high school days.
Gone was my medical school training, USAF flight surgeon career, my marriage and four children and even my selection as scientist astronaut. Again the same doctors made the same diagnosis, transient global amnesia. Again I stopped Lipitor on my own knowing it was the cause but I was the only one convinced.
Several months later I got in contact with the statin drug study at UCSD's College of Medicine. There, Dr. Beatrice Golomb reported she had several cases just like mine. A few days later, thanks to the Graedons of the radio program Peoples Pharmacy, thousands of case reports of memory dysfunction started flooding in from patients across the country, all with the same common thread - association with statin drug use. And the amnesia is just the tip of the iceberg of the true incidence of memory impairment associated with Lipitor, Mevacor and Zocor. For every case of amnesia, thousands of cases of extreme forgetfullness, incapacitating confusion and profound disorientation have been and are being reported.
NOTE Neither patients nor doctors are aware of this side effect.
Time Challenger Labs International, Inc.