Role of Cholesterol in Alzheimer’s Disease Unclear

by VR Sreeraman on  February 25, 2007 at 3:20 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Role of Cholesterol in Alzheimer’s Disease Unclear
The lower your cholesterol, the better your heart health. But a man's heart and his head don't always agree. In fact, the relationships among cholesterol levels, psychological function, and neurologic disorders are complex and sometimes controversial, reports the March issue Harvard Men's Health Watch.

There are two major forms of dementia: vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Vascular dementia results when blood vessel damage deprives the brain of oxygen. Brain cells die as a result, and mental function suffers. Some studies link high cholesterol levels to an increased risk of cognitive impairment, but others report the opposite. More research is needed to sort this out, but even now, investigations of HDL (good) cholesterol and mental function have consistently reported that high HDL levels appear to help preserve mental function in older people.

The connection between Alzheimer's disease and cholesterol is even more complex. Scientists have learned much of the damage of Alzheimer's comes from deposits of a sticky protein, called beta-amyloid, in vital areas of the brain. In some studies, high cholesterol levels appear to accelerate the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. People with the genetic trait that increases the level of a particular cholesterol transport protein have a greatly increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer's.

The urgent question is whether cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In the most recent studies, people who took statins did not appear to be at lower risk for the disease. Additional research is under way. Right now, it is too early for firm conclusions on the relationships among cholesterol, cognitive function, and statin therapy.

Source: Newswise
SRM

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Cholesterol High Cholesterol Heart Attack Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Heart Attack- Lifestyle Risks Statins Low Saturated Fat and Low Cholesterol Diet 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive