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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Aug;1801(8):934-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2010.03.011. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Brain cholesterol in normal and pathological aging.

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Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, VIB, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Correct lipid homeostasis at the plasma membrane is essential for cell survival and performance. These are critically challenged in the aging brain. Changes in the levels of cholesterol, a major membrane component especially enriched in neurons, accompany the brain aging process. They also occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding the causes and consequences of these changes is a crucial step when trying to delay the cognitive decline, which comes with age, or to design strategies to fight neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. We here review work that has contributed to this understanding.

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