Asma Jabeen, Umar Ali Khan, Muhammad Ayub, M. Amjad Hameed


Background: The incidence of obesity is increasing worldwide. The neuropathy associated with
obesity, that is evident from disturbed nerve conduction, is one of the complications for which a
number of treatment options are being considered. In this study, Simvastatin, a hydroxyl methyl
glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor and alpha-tocopherol, a dietary antioxidant are compared
for their effects on sciatic nerve conduction velocity. Objectives: To compare the effects of
Simvastatin and alpha-tocopherol on sciatic nerve conduction velocity in obese rats. Methods:
The study was a Randomised control trial conducted from December 2008 to November 2009.
One hundred and twenty adult male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into four groups with 30
rats in each group. One group of rats was taken as control with normal diet while other three
groups were given high fat diet (HFD) for the whole study period. Along with the high fat diet,
group III and group IV were given Simvastatin and alpha-tocopherol supplemented diet
respectively. At the end of study, conduction velocity of sciatic nerve was determined with the
help of PowerLab® data acquisition system. Results: The three groups with HFD showed more
than 25% increase in weight at the end of study compared to control group. The control group
with high fat diet (Group II) showed decreased sciatic nerve conduction velocity when compared
with control (Group I). Both the groups that were given Simvastatin and alpha-tocopherol each
showed improvement in sciatic nerve conduction velocity (p<0.001) after four weeks when
compared with the group that was given HFD without any supplementation. However with alphatocopherol, the nerve conduction velocity was improved more significantly. Conclusions:
Simvastatin and alpha-tocopherol both are effective for improving sciatic nerve conduction
velocity in HFD induced obesity.
Keywords: Obesity, Simvastatin, nerve conduction velocity, alpha-tocopherol, High Fat Diet

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