Statin use is associated with reduced motor recovery after spinal cord injury

Erin M. Triplet, Isobel A. Scarisbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design: We completed retrospective analysis of statin use in individuals with neurologically significant spinal cord injury in a historical cohort study. Objective: Our objective was to establish the prevalence of cholesterol-lowering agent use following spinal cord injury (SCI) and to determine the impact on recovery of motor function. Setting: Patients enrolled in the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA from 2005 to 2018 were included in analysis. Methods: Exclusion criteria: age <18, comorbid neurological disease, prior neurological deficit, nontraumatic injury, survival <1 year, or lack of motor deficit. Demographics and cholesterol-lowering agent use in 83 individuals meeting all criteria were recorded. A total of 68/83 individuals were then assessed for change in function over the first 2 months after injury using the ISNCSCI motor subscore. Statistical comparison between control and statin groups was done by two-sided Chi-squared test or two-tailed Student’s t test. Generalized regression was performed to assess associations between independent variables and functional outcome. Results: 30% of individuals with SCI had a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering agent. No significant differences were observed in severity of injury or demographic composition between groups. The change in motor subscore was reduced in the statin group compared to controls (p = 0.03, Mann–Whitney). Both severity of injury and statin were significant predictors of reduced motor recovery (p = 0.001, and p = 0.04, respectively). Conclusions: Both severity of SCI and statins were significant predictors of reduced motor recovery. Additional investigation is needed to address potential impact of statin-therapy in the context of CNS injury and repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalSpinal cord series and cases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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