High Cholesterol Linked to Alzheimer’s

January 1, 2014 | By Lorenzo Mejia

A recent study suggests a link between high cholesterol levels and increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers found that higher cholesterol often indicated greater occurrence of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are common feature of the disease.

One might conclude that taking statins, which lower cholesterol, might be a good insurance policy against developing dementia.  Researchers caution, however, that they do not enough evidence to support this, and that additional research is required.

Earlier studies were based on post-mortem analysis of patients who had shown higher levels of cholesterol prior to their death.  This recent study conducted brain scans of living subjects.

Participants had an average age of 78.  Those who displayed high levels of LDL-C (bad cholesterol) or low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) were shown to have more amyloid plaque deposit in their brains.

Researchers are still pondering how blood cholesterol affects the brain, as the cholesterol in the central nervous system is kept separate from blood cholesterol by the blood-brain barrier.

Still, the evidence suggests that embracing a healthy lifestyle – including exercise and Mediterranean diet – will help reduce your likelihood of dementia.

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