Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mid-life Cholesterol Levels Not Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Contrary to earlier research, a new, long-term study suggests that cholesterol level in mid-life may not be linked to later development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the November 10, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. However, the results suggest that large decreases in cholesterol levels in old age could be a better predictor of developing the memory-robbing disease.

“While some studies suggest that cholesterol is a risk factor for dementia, others have not replicated this finding, so the possible association has been under debate,” said study author Michelle M. Mielke, PhD, with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

For the study, 1,462 dementia-free Swedish women between the ages of 38 and 60 were followed for 32 years. As part of the study, the women were given a physical exam, heart tests, chest x-rays and blood tests. The group was also surveyed for smoking habits, alcohol and medication use, education and medical history. Throughout the study, body mass index (BMI), a measurement of weight-per-height, and blood pressure were taken. At four points, the women were tested for dementia.

After 32 years, 161 women had developed dementia.

The study found that cholesterol measured in middle or old age showed no link to dementia, which is contrary to some earlier studies. However, the study also found that the women whose cholesterol levels decreased the most from middle to older age were more than twice as likely to develop dementia as those whose cholesterol levels increased or stayed the same. The risk increased from 8.9 percent for those who maintained or had increased cholesterol over the course of the study to 17.5 percent for people with the greatest decline in cholesterol.

Mielke said that decreased cholesterol levels greater than what is expected in old age might be a more accurate indicator of dementia risk then cholesterol levels in middle age. In addition, despite the finding that cholesterol did not influence dementia risk, Mielke recommends that people still follow heart healthy guidelines. “Cholesterol should still be monitored and treated through diet, exercise and medication for cardiovascular and overall health.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Brain Power Project, the University of Gothenburg, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, Swedish Alzheimer Association, European Commission Seventh Framework Program, Svenssons Foundation, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Söderström-Königska Nursing Home Foundation, the Foundation för Gamla Tjänarinnor, Hjalmar Svenssons Foundation, The Swedish Society of Medicine, the Göteborg Medical Society, the Lions Foundation, the Dr. Felix Neubergh Foundation, the Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Foundation, the Elsa and Eivind Kison Sylvan Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Award.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington’s disease, and dementia.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit


Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>