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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2006 Apr;18(2):173-86.

Lipids and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease: is there a link?

Author information

1
Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. mmielke1@jhmi.edu

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder characterized pathologically by amyloid-beta plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and neuronal loss. Its fundamental cause(s) and the pathological cascades leading to clinical symptoms remain unknown. Lipids and lipid peroxidation products have important roles in the homeostasis of the central nervous system. As well, lipid transport genes and vascular changes associated with peripheral dyslipidemia have been associated with an increased risk of AD. The present review discusses ways in which lipids may be involved in the pathogenesis of AD-associated neurodegeneration through their roles as neuronal structural components, cell modulators, or second messengers. Given the many possibilities through which lipids may be directly involved in or contribute to the pathogenesis of AD, the use of lipids as biomarkers for disease progression is discussed, as are other avenues for future research.

PMID:
16777671
DOI:
10.1080/09540260600583007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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