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Mol Neurobiol. 2005;31(1-3):185-92.

Is hypercholesterolemia a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease?

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota School of Medicine and Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


There is considerable attention being given to the association of Alzheimer's disease and cholesterol homeostasis. To that end, some have suggested that elevated cholesterol levels are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. If elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, then it would be expected that patients with Alzheimer's disease would have elevated serum and brain cholesterol levels. Studies were reviewed that have examined cholesterol levels in Alzheimer's patients and control subjects, including prospective studies, and based on that review, the conclusion is reached that the majority of studies do not support elevated cholesterol levels in serum and brain as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Alternative hypotheses are discussed, including cholesterol domains and subgroups of individuals with hypercholesteremia.

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