From the FDA site:
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration's analysis provides new evidence that the use of statins does not increase incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." The analysis was reported on Monday, Sept. 29, 2008 in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.
"The FDA's review, which began in 2007, is an example of the agency working to analyze products - throughout their lifecycle - to keep health care professionals and patients informed of new and emerging safety data," said Mark Avigan, M.D., director, Division of Pharmacovigilance I, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA.
The FDA analysis, undertaken after the agency received a higher than expected number of Adverse Event Reporting System reports of ALS in patients on statins, is based on data from 41 long-term controlled clinical trials. The results showed no increased incidence of the disease in patients treated with a statin compared with placebo.
Statins -- HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitors -- are the most commonly-prescribed medications to treat elevated cholesterol levels in the United States. ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative condition with an overall annual incidence of 1 to 2 per 100,000 people in the general population. The incidence of ALS increases with age.
Statins have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in a wide variety of patients. Based on currently available information, health care professionals should not change their prescribing practices for statins and patients should not change their use of statins.