While cholesterol is a crucial substance for human bodies and not altogether deserving of its presumed bad rap, most of us realize that an excess can damage the cardiovascular system, specifically the heart and blood vessels. What all of us may not realize is that due to the interdependent nature of our bodily systems, the brain’s activity is also highly impacted by cholesterol. And, in fact, studies suggest that cholesterol in excess can be a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One specific study tracked over two thousand individuals of varying ages over a course of over a decade. These individuals displayed no signs, or symptoms of dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Follow-up autopsies of those tracked indicated that about a third of those tracked had developed Alzheimer’s. Plaques and tangles that are considered signature markings of brain diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, were viewed in the autopsy findings of the significant third of those tracked. Most significant was the finding that almost ninety percent of those showing brain damage, of the sort associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, also had high cholesterol. Meanwhile, only about sixty percent had these sorts of plaques and tangles, while concurrently showing low levels of cholesterol.
- 1Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy-like substance made by the liver and found in some foods, that circulates in the bloodstream and is vital to the healthy functioning of our bodies.
- 2Because there aren’t really any symptoms from high cholesterol in and of itself, many people don’t even know their cholesterol is too high.
- 3However, taking a simple blood test once every five years for adults over 20, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program, can be extremely helpful in identifying your risk.
There’s also strong evidence that watching our cholesterol levels may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia as well. Learn more about cholesterol and it’s possible link to brain health over time.
Read the full article at: https://www.alzheimers.net/2013-09-20/high-cholesterol-and-alzheimers/