High Levels of ‘Bad’ Cholesterol Linked to Increased Risk of Early-onset Alzheimer’s, Study Suggests

High Levels of ‘Bad’ Cholesterol Linked to Increased Risk of Early-onset Alzheimer’s, Study Suggests
High levels of “bad” cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), might increase the risk of developing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests. The study, “Association of Early-Onset Alzheimer Disease With Elevated Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels and Rare Genetic Coding Variants of APOB,” was published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Early-onset Alzheimer's, when people develop symptoms before age 65, is a rare form of the disease, accounting for 10% of cases. Research has shown that mutations in certain genes — amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PSEN1), and presenilin 2 (PSEN2) — may cause early forms of Alzheimer's. However, these mutations are found in only 10% of cases, and researchers still do not know the underlying cause for the other 90%. High cholesterol levels have been linked to late-onset Alzheimer's, the most common form of the disease. In fact, the well-known genetic variant APOE E4, which increases the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's, causes a rise in LDL cholesterol. LDL is sometimes called the "bad" cholesterol because high LDL levels lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. Medicines used to lower cholesterol levels have been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer's. However, the role of cholesterol in early-onset Alzheimer's and whether genetic variants might contribute to a possible
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