Link between Alzheimer s disease and cholesterol

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Might there be a relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and levels within the body of the good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)?

Today’s edition of the Archives of Neurology includes a study performed at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons offering evidence for this hypothesis. The researchers found — even when adjusted for risk factors like age, gender, body-mass index and other health conditions like diabetes and heart disease — that seniors with low levels of HDL were 60 percent more likely to show signs of Alzheimer’s. These findings were consistent with earlier research linking Alzheimer’s and dementia to decreased blood flow, which is also associated with lower HDL levels.

ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan says that this research “is very preliminary, but important nonetheless. Twenty years ago, Alzheimer’s wasn’t even classified as a cause of death, but now we see that it’s a huge issue for aging populations — for both its sufferers and their families.”

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross reminds readers that “watching cholesterol may be less important than taking statins to lower cholesterol. These and other related factors must be monitored to help keep Alzheimer's disease at bay.