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LDL Cholesterol Linked To Early-Onset Alzheimer’s


Previous studies have found a link between elevated cholesterol
levels and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s later in life. Now a new study
suggests that high levels of LDL cholesterol may increase the risk of
early-onset Alzheimer’s. Approximately 10% of Alzheimer’s cases are early onset,
which refers to Alzheimer’s that appears before the age of 65.





For their study, the researchers took samples 2,125 people that were
gathered from Alzheimer’s disease research centers. 654 of them had early-onset
Alzheimer’s and 1,471 were controls. The researchers sequenced specific genomic
regions of the samples and measured plasma cholesterol levels.





The researchers found that approximately 10% of the early onset
cases were related to APOE E4. APOE E4 is a mutation of the APOE E4 gene and has
been shown to be a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s. They also found that
people with elevated LDL cholesterol levels were more likely have early-onset Alzheimer’s,
compared to people with lower cholesterol levels. No association was found for
HDL cholesterol.





In addition, the researchers found that participants with a
variant in the APOB gene were more likely to have early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Approximately 3% of early-onset Alzheimer’s cases were found to be related to
gene mutations.





The study was conducted by researchers from Emory University School
of Medicine and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It was published online
ahead of print on May 28, 2019 in JAMA
Neurology
.


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