Milita Crisby, MD, PhD, Neurotec Department, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden.
The interaction of genetic and multiple environmental factors contributes to the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia have been identified as risk factors for ischemic heart disease (IHD). Recent epidemiological data also have revealed an association between hypercholesterolemia and AD. Experimental models of AD and in vitro studies have shown that cholesterol modulates the amyloidogenic pathway in favour of production and deposition of amyloid in the brain. Dysregulation of the lipid metabolism in the brain due to apolipoprotein E4 or 24-hydroxylase polymorphisms has been observed in patients with AD and related dementias. Furthermore, observational studies have revealed that statin use could have a potential role in the prevention of AD.
Key words: cholesterol, statins, lipid-lowering, Alzheimer disease, neurodegeneration.