High cholesterol tied to cognitive decline
People with high cholesterol levels may be more at risk for cognitive disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.
Researchers from UC Berkeley, UC Davis and USC recruited 74 participants with an average age of 78 and analyzed the relationship between cholesterol and amyloid plaques—abnormal protein build-up which is a mark of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists found that the people with higher levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, had more amyloid plaques in their brains.
None of the study’s subjects were diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. More than half, however, were found to have mild cognitive impairment, which can sometimes lead to Alzheimer’s.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, suggests that there is a link between cholesterol levels and cognitive decline, but scientists remain uncertain about the pathways through which one affects the other.