Is cholesterol a culprit in Alzheimer's disease?

D. Larry Sparks, Marwan N. Sabbagh, John C.S. Breitner, John C. Hunsaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A pivotal role for cholesterol influence on production of the putative AD toxin, amyloid β (Aβ), has been amply demonstrated. More importantly, this relationship has consistently been identified in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Lowering cholesterol levels has been shown to cause a beneficial effect on Aβ levels in animal models, and epidemiological data indicate a beneficial effect on the risk of AD with prior statin use. Blinded, placebo-controlled clinical investigations assessing the benefit of statins on cognitive indices in mild to moderate AD are ongoing and one will be reported on soon. A prospective study assessing the effect of statin use on the risk of AD is under way as an observational component of a placebo-controlled primary prevention trial testing anti-inflammatory agents. Nevertheless, the foregoing suggests that routine monitoring and intervention for elevated cholesterol levels among the elderly could promote more than a healthy heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalInternational psychogeriatrics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Oct 7 2003


  • AD prevention
  • AD treatment
  • Clinical trials
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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