Cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease link strengthens in study

December 30, 2013 11:07 PM

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Cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease link strengthens in study

Well before signs of dementia trigger a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a person's cholesterol levels may be a bellwether of amyloid plaque build-up in the brain, a new study finds. Long considered a reliable predictor of heart attacks and strokes, worrisome cholesterol levels may now raise concerns about dementia risk as well, prompting more aggressive use of drugs, including statins, that alter cholesterol levels.

The current study does "not convincingly exclude the possibility" that taking statins might lower amyloid deposition, the researchers said. But neither did it show that those taking cholesterol medication were less likely to have the sticky plaques that gum up brain function. Only a larger study tha...

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