Neuronal Apoptosis

A message board to discuss personal experiences of Lipitor and its effects.

Neuronal Apoptosis

Postby crandreww » Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:00 am

Well, I think I have finally figured out my illness and disability.

My history: I was 29 years old, when my father had is multiple bypass surgery. I was a critical care Registered Nurse, and I decided I did not want to be on the operating table at 58, like my father, so I spoke with my doctor, and he immediately started me on Lipitor 10 mg, which kept my cholesterol down sufficiently for 4 years. In August 2002, I began to have wicked headaches, bad enough for me to miss several days of work, I think 11 in all. My wife took me to the Emergency room 3 times because of confusion and headaches. All 3 times, I was sent home with the diagnosis Migraine Variant.
My headaches and confusion worsened over the next 2 weeks, and I missed work all 10 days. My confusion was worsening, only now I was extremely fatigued all of the time, I would stayin bed up to 17 hours a day. My wife called my doctor at home one Saturday, and she demanded he order an MRI scan, (which was not done in the Hospital , as the ER doctor thought it wasnt neccessary), so he got a CT scan which was completely normal. So an MRI scan was ordered, and the following day I had an MRI of my brain, which showed Multiple scattered lesions in the White matter, I think I counted close to 90 several months later when I saw the films, I was referred to a neurologist, and he diagnosed me with Atypical Multiple Sclerosis. About a week later I was headed to UW Madison Wisconsin hospital for a second opinion, to which the MS specialist, said he did not think I had MS, but rather somethink else, he did not know what, but was pretty adimant it wasnt MS. After several hours of testing etc, I was sent home with a follow up in 1 week.
During the course of this week, my headaches fatigue, confusion continued, anly now my right ear was ringing 24/7, and I was seeing white flashes of light in my eyes.
The following week, my symptoms grew worse, and my wife called the doctor in Madison, and his nurse tod her I whould come down there ASAP. So we got in the van, dropped our son off at my parents, and headed to Madison, where I was admitted, and grew terribly worse. I did not know who I was where I was nor did I know my wife and family. I was in the hospital for 28 days, underwent 300,000 dollars of medical care, had a brain biopsy, shich showed Spongiform Encephalopathy, more commonly referred to as CJD (creutzfeld Jakob disease), and invariably fatal disease, I had a muscle biopsy which was consistant with MELAS(mitochondraial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidodis with stroke like episodes. Another invariable fatal disease, for which the only treatment is a Mitochondrial cocktail, which consists of about 15 pills every morning and 15 every evening. These pills are all vitamins and the like, but it ts of one very improtant and key nutrient for those sho take statins, as I found out later, CoQ10. I was about 6 days from being transferred to a Nursing home, (at 34 years old!) But I began to improve, to the point I could be discharged home, with Physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Now I am 38 years old, happy to be alive, a lot closer to God, but on disability. Now for nearly 4 years..

I cant tell you how much research I have put into this whole experience, probably thousands of hours.
My discharge diagnosis was Viral Encephalitis. HAH!
1: starvation of Co Q10 in the brain, may cause Neuronal apoptosism cell death, which I found looks very similar to CJD under a microscope
2: Starvation of coQ10 to the muscles, may cause lots of different changes to the Mitochondria, which was demonstrated on my muscle biopsy.

I am too tired to continue, but I welcome anyone elses input!
God bless!
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Postby tex62 » Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:32 pm


Like some of the other posts, your medical history sounds like a nightmare. There doesn’t seem to be much dispute that depletion of CoQ10 is a problem. It also seems that there is a high correlation of health problems associated with very low cholesterol. Do you know what your cholesterol was at its lowest while you were taking Lipitor?

In one of your other posts, you indicated you are taking Red Yeast Rice. Are you still taking this and how much? Are your heart risks high enough that you are still concerned about treatment for these risks? If you search Dr. Graveline’s message board for Red Yeast Rice, some have said that taking Red Yeast Rice caused a relapse of their former statin associated side effects. Dr. Graveline has a post on his main page about Red Yeast Rice at

I like your attitude. It sounds like you are making the best of your situation. Best wishes in your recovery.
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Dr Graveline,

Postby crandreww » Sat Sep 16, 2006 4:04 pm

thanks so much for your response!
I am doing the best I can with what I have.
I was very depressed 3 years ago or so, and my wife had me go to counseling,

I have heeded your advice, and am not taking anything for cholesterol at the moment, my cholesterol on Lipitor was around 170 or so as best I can remember.
I continue to take the Mito cocktail, CoQ10 200 BID, L carnitine 1g BID, Vit C 4g BID , Vit B6 50 QD, Niacin 500 BID, Multivit QD, OMega 3 1200 mg BID, Vit E 400 IU qd, Baby Aspirin QD
I no longer take Red Yeast rice nor Policosanol, nor Zetia.
My last cholesterol was around 240, and My fam Dr wanted to start me back on a statin, and I told him I would rather die of heart disease than this thing that made me sick inn 2002. He said he really did not think I got sick because of the Statin, and I asked if he prescribes CoQ10 to his patients on statins, and he replied , why would I do that, and I enlightened him about the need for CoQ10 in the body, and that it is Clinically proven that Statins inhibit the body's ability to produce this essential nutrient, and he replied that he was not aware of that.
I informed him I would share any information I have, but he declined, you know one of those doctors who always know better than their patients.
My next question, do you know if taking oral coQ10 supplements while on a statin, will actually replace the needed CoQ10 in the cells? I read conflicting information about that.
Thanks so much for everything that you are doing! It is so nice to have a Doctor of your stature on our side of this Misguided war on Cholesterol
God Bless!
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sharaing references

Postby eml256 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:03 pm

Hello crandreww, I am very interested in your information--have you references regarding neuronal apoptosis and coq10 deficit? I am currently writing a petition to the FDA to mandate studies on statin (lipophilic statin) use and neurodegenerative diseases--spefcifically Parkinson's. if you will share your references, I will post my my email address... thanks, madelyn
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Here is a reply I recieved from Dr Beatrice Golomb, Neurolog

Postby crandreww » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:40 pm

IN reply to a question I had asked her after participating in the statin study done at UCSD......

I am so very very sorry for all that you are going through. It is nice, though, to hear that some things are improving.

The answer is yes; Q10 in many studies has been shown to protect against apoptosis through both antioxidant and nonantioxidant effects. Most of what you report, including the fatigue, muscle symptoms, slurred speech and ataxia, we have heard from others on statins as well. The MELAS finding in particularly brings me back to statins as a likely causal contributor.

Do you want to arrange a time for a phone call? If so, let me know times that you are available; and a number to call.

I'll cc this to Marcella Evans, who is working with me, and we'll try to set something up.


Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD
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Taking Q10 to try to avoid statin deficit

Postby Ray Holder » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:59 pm


I have been taking Q10 for 3 1/2 years since I had my statin problems.
When I had a stroke 18 months ago, they gave me lipitor, which I only accepted on the understanding that I continued with Q10, I believe I was taking 400 mg a day then. However, in a couple of months, angina came back, I had been free from it for a long time, so I gave up the lipitor, and although I have since upped my Q10 to 600, the angina stays away.

I felt that the statin was pulling the plug out from the bath that Q10 was trying to fill!!

Ray Holder
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Location: Bournemouth England

Postby crandreww » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:53 pm

Do you have plaques in your coronary arteries?
While I would definitely stay clear from Lipitor, I would countinue the COQ10, baby Aspirin, Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. All of the research I have found, leads me to believe that Cholesterol is not really the villian here, but rather Oxidation of the cholesterol is the problem. Its when the Cholesterol gets oxidized, it becomes rancid and causes the stickyness, which leads to plaque formation. Read Dr Gravelines book and take antioxidants and fish oil, and Aspirin.

Keep up the good work!
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Heart problems????

Postby Ray Holder » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:42 am


No-one has ever examined my coronary arteries, I went to hospital in 1992 with angina problems, and it was assumed from there that cholesterol/atherscelerosis was to blame. After all that I have found out since in my studies of the subject, I am convinced that the original angina resulted from heart muscle weakness (heart failure rather than coronary problems) due to age (71 at the time) and reduced Q10 level at that age, combined with carnitine deficiency due to post polio syndrome, so that the heart muscle had not failed but its fuel supply system was inadequate. I take 600 mg of Q10 and 6 grams of Lcarnitine daily and I find that both of these are essential.

I had a carotid artery scan after the stroke and they were only slightly affected by plaque, I believe that the stress of caring for my late wife, who had Alzheimer's, was the major cause of the stroke.

I need no further encouragement to avoid statins, I will never take another one. I do take a combination of B vitamins and TMG (Jarrow) to prevent elevated homocysteine as far as possible, and that plus the Q10 should take care of the oxidised LDL problem, one can only hope that no other sinister factor is hiding in the wings!!

Ray Holder
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Location: Bournemouth England

Postby JL » Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:52 pm

THe bottom line is this, we all need cholesterol in our system in order to function. Cholesterol is found in every cell of our bodies for good reason. Without it, we would die. The heart also needs CO Q10 for energy or else congestive heart failure is the result. We should not be taking any drugs that cause our bodies to stop making cholesterol and CoQ10. So if there are any drugs out there, like statin drugs, that are preventing our bodies from making cholesterol and COQ10, they need to be flushed down the toilet bowl. Statins have been making big bucks for the drug companies since the 80s and unfortunately corporate America doesn't care how many people are getting sick from taking them. Statins are poison. Stay away from them.
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Postby SomewhereNTexas » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:51 am

wow -- i have never heard it said that way but that was an awesome way to sum it up!
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eml256 and others who would like references

Postby crandreww » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:06 am

1: (Apoptosis through mitochondrial oxidative damage) *

2: *
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