Cholesterol has a link to Alzheimer’s, according to a Dec. 31 Reuters report. New studies show that the patterns of both “good” and “bad” cholesterol associated with heart disease also predicted levels of Alzheimer’s-related protein in the brains on the research study participants.
“One of the important themes emerging from dementia research over the past 15 years is that there are intriguing connections between vascular disease and Alzheimer's disease,” Lead researcher Bruce Reed told Reuters.
The University of California Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center professor added, “It has become increasingly clear that what have been traditionally thought of as vascular risk factors - things like hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol - are also risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.”
NBC News reports that according to Reed, the lead researcher and his team studied brain scans of 74 patients in stroke clinics and senior centers using Pittsburgh Compound B, or PIB, a tracer dye that highlights amyloid in the brain. The patients were, for the most part, normal and free of any symptoms of dementia.
Reese found that “Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer’s, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.”
The bottom line is that “If you have an LDL above 100 or an HDL that is less than 40, even if you’re taking a statin drug, you want to make sure that you are getting those numbers into alignment,” Reed said. “You have to get the HDL up and the LDL down.”