You may know that having high levels of “bad” cholesterol can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, but that’s not all that high cholesterol is linked to. Researchers have recently discovered that cholesterol levels are also connected to Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, affects over 26.6 million people worldwide. 1 – 5% of cases have genetic roots, but otherwise the cause of Alzheimer’s is mostly unknown. The recent research linking high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s might shed more light on its origins.
Cholesterol & Alzheimer’s Disease Linked?
According to the research done at the University of California Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the levels of “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol can predict the level of beta amyloid — a protein found in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains — in the brains of study participants.
Researchers analyzed the cholesterol levels of 74 elderly participants with normal to mild cognitive impairment. They also measured the beta amyloid brain deposits using positron emission tomography, or PET scanning, so they could explore the correlation between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s.
The study concluded that participants with lower levels of “good” cholesterol and higher levels of “bad” cholesterol had elevated levels of amyloid in the brain.
Researchers discovered the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and cholesterol after further probing the links between heart disease and Alzheimer’s; their previous research had shown a correlation between heart risks and amyloid levels.
As researched Dr. Bruce Reed explains, the levels of amyloid in the brain are believed to initiate the events that later result in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Reed still thinks that further research needs to be done so that we can “understand the mechanism(s) behind this finding,” explore how “good” cholesterol levels might reduce amyloid buildup, and see how changing cholesterol levels might lessen one’s risk of Alzheimer’s.
Get Cholesterol Testing at ARCpoint Elk Grove Village
Although the links between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease do need to be further explored, since high levels of “bad” cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease, it’s important that you know your cholesterol levels and make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle as necessary.
At ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village, we offer a number of screenings that feature cholesterol tests, including our cholesterol panel, male and female health screenings, biometric screenings, and corporate wellness lab testing.
To learn more about our services, including cholesterol testing, call ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village today at (847) 264-4677!