Cardiovascular Risk Factors / Health

High levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol beneficial to the brain

High levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol beneficial to the brainNew research published in JAMA Neurology (1) identifies that high levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol is beneficial to the brain as well as the heart.

74 participants with a mean age of 78 were involved in the study, classified into 3 groups:

  1. Mild dementia (3 patients)
  2. Mild cognitive impairment (38 patients)
  3. Clinically normal (33 patients)

Participants underwent a PET scan where amyloid plaques were identified with the use of a radioactive tracer that binds to the plaque itself. Fasting blood samples were also collected from participants.

Investigators noted that higher levels of amyloid plaques were found when participants showed higher readings of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. The study’s findings are consistent with previous studies from autopsy reports, epidemiologic findings, and animal and vitro work.

Results highlight the importance of lipid management as they appear to play a crucial role in modulating amyloid plaque found in the brain. If lipids can be appropriately managed it may be possible in the future to slow the formation of dementia-inducing plaque and inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reference: The Jama Network

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