High Cholesterol May Increase Alzheimer's Risk

Pharmacy Times
Volume 0

A new study shows that not only doeshigh cholesterol put the heart at risk, butit also may endanger the mind as well byraising the risk of Alzheimer's disease(AD). Researchers at the Centre for MolecularBiology in Heidelberg, Germany,found that a protein involved in the formationof the brain-clogging plaquesrelated to AD also may be a key player incholesterol regulation.

They say that these findings mayexplain the link found in previous studiescomparing high cholesterol levels withincreased levels of amyloid-beta (Aβ), theprotein that forms the plaques found inthe brains of patients with AD. The studyresults, which were published in the Octoberissue of Nature Cell Biology, alsoshowed that a larger protein called amyloidprecursor protein helps in maintaininghealthy cholesterol levels. This proteingenerates the Aβ‚protein, however, creatinga vicious cycle in which cholesterollevels affect the Aβ‚protein, which in turnis created by the protein that helps cholesterol.This cycle could result in bothcholesterol and Aβ‚levels spinning out ofcontrol and promoting the development ofAD. Researchers said that further studiesare needed to confirm these results andto verify whether cholesterol managementmay be incorporated into futuretreatments for AD.

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