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Deteriorating Cognitive Ability Associated With the Bad Cholesterol

BY: Geetanjali Murari | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2014-01-05 06:29:10
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Article Summary: "This article highlights the recent discovery done at University of California where the scientists have found that escalating level of bad cholesterol (HDL) is not only bad for heart but also fatal for our brain. An association has been observed between cholesterol and beta-amyloid plaque formation which lead to Alzheimer's dise.."

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Dementia is a serious problem common in the aged population. With the increasing life expectancy, the cases of dementia are rising tremendously. We still lack in fighthing with this disease as there is no curing treatment available till date. Dementia is a common term used for several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Frontotemporal lobar degeneration, etc.

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. When we eat healthy low cholesterol food, we are not only saving ourselves from fats and heart disease but also from fatal cognitive disorders like, Alzheimer's. Some of the recent researchers have shown that several cognitive problems are not associated with the bad cholesterol level. They might not be the outcome of hypothyroidism as the cognitive impairments is still found in about 16 percent of subjects with normal thyroid function, 17 percent of patients with more severe hypothyroidism and 18 percent of people with mild hypothyroidism. The other factors such as age, gender, body-mass index and other health problems were also considered during the analysis. Even after this, no association was found between hypothyroidism and mild brain cognitive impairment.

But the recent research performed at University of California, has shown that maintaining the cholesterol level in our body is not only important for our heart but also for our brain. The regulation on decreased level of bad cholesterol level and increased level of good cholesterol is beneficial for our brain too. The further analysis stated that bad cholesterol level might be associated with the formation of amyloid plaque in the brain marking the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Till now people and medical experts were only focused about the heart disease when it comes to cholesterol. But high level of bad cholesterol and good level of cholesterol has its impact on our brain as well. The unhealthy cholesterol could be causative factor for the higher level of amyloid plaque, thus contributing to Alzheimer's, in the same way as it elevates the chances of heart attack.

The scientists recruited some aged participants of 70 years or above which included healthy aged and patients with dementia and mild impairment of cognitive functions. These participants underwent the experiment. Their cholesterol level was checked through blood test and amyloid level was checked through MRI brain scan. The outcomes of the study revealed that higher fasting levels of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol were associated with the higher accumulation of amyloid plaque in the human brain. The scientists are trying to reveal the reason behind the relation between cholesterol level and amyloid plaque.

The standard High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level is 60 mg/dL or higher, and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is 70 mg/dL or lower. Thus it is very essential to maintain the cholesterol levels (HDL and LDL) in those who are showing signs of memory problems or dementia, regardless of their heart health. This study will help the neurologists around the world to consider cholesterol check up during the treatment. It is quintessential for the people who are suffering from memory loss to keep a track over their cholesterol level in the initial stage of dementia. This will reduce the formation of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.

The bad cholesterol famous only for cardiovascular disorders has its adverse affects in brain disorders as well. This novel theory needs to analyzed and studied more in detail to find the causative molecular process behind this. The causal relationship between cholesterol and brain and heart. This would act as a boon for the ever growing number of Alzheimer's patients, neurologists and researchers trying to develop the drug for the non-curable and fatal Alzheimer's disease.

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Geetanjali Murari
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