A study has found that brain cholesterol can lead to Alzheimer’s disease

Cholesterol has long been linked to clogged arteries and heart disease, but new research suggests it can also affect the brain.

Scientists from the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that cholesterol produced in the brain appears to play a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The new findings prove that cholesterol produced by cells called astrocytes is essential for controlling the production of amyloid beta, a sticky protein that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The research provides important insights into how and why plaques form and may explain why cholesterol-related genes are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings also provide scientists with important guidance as they try to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and highlight how to prevent amyloid-beta overproduction as a way to fight the disease, which currently kills more elderly people than breast and prostate cancer combined.

“This study helps us understand why cholesterol-related genes are important for the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said researcher Heather Ferris, of UVA Health’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

“Our data indicate the importance of focusing on cholesterol production in astrocytes and transmission to neurons as a way to reduce beta-amyloid and prevent plaque formation at all.”

Holocaust survivor Betty Stein, 92 (left) and Eli Boyer, 91, play table tennis in a program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at the Arthur Gilbert Table Tennis Center in Los Angeles.

“Once people start experiencing memory problems from Alzheimer’s disease, countless neurons die. Hopefully targeting cholesterol will prevent this death from happening in the first place,” she said.

Earlier this month, Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers also made a groundbreaking discovery while studying amyloid-beta proteins. For the first time, a non-pharmaceutical clinical trial has demonstrated effectiveness in reversing major stimulants for Alzheimer’s disease, according to University of Washington Professor Shai Efrati, whose study on the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve brain function was published in a medical journal review. aging.

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