According to a study, those having high cholesterol levels could have a greater risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers discovered that high cholesterol levels are very much related to brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
For the research, the cholesterol levels were screened for 2,587 persons age 40 to 79 that had no indications of Alzheimer’s disease. They then looked at 147 autopsied persons that died following a long observation period of time (10 to 15 years). Of these, 50 people, or 34 %, were diagnosed with dementia prior to dying.
The autopsies looked for plaques and tangles within the brain, both regarded as trademark indications of Alzheimer’s disease. Plaques are a buildup of a type of the protein amyloid, which takes place among nerve cells. Tangles are a buildup of a different protein, called tau, which takes place within nerve cells.
Those with high cholesterol levels, based on a reading of greater than 5.8 mmol/L, had far more brain plaques in comparison to people with normal or reduced cholesterol levels. An overall total of 86 % of persons having high cholesterol levels had brain plaques, in contrast to only 62 % of persons with low cholesterol levels.
The research found no link with high cholesterol levels and the tangles that form within the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.
Besides high cholesterol levels raising the chance of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers earlier discovered that insulin resistance, an indication of diabetes, could be an additional risk factor for brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The research clearly makes the point that high cholesterol can contribute directly or indirectly to plaques within the brain, but unsuccessful treatment trials of cholesterol reducing drugs in Alzheimer’s disease suggests there’s really no simple link between lowering cholesterol and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Reference for: Research Shows High Cholesterol And Alzheimer’s Disease Link