Good cholesterol linked to reduced Alzheimer’s risk

Alzheimer’s disease is the 7th leading cause of death and costs about 172 billion dollars annually.[1] Due to the disease’s debilitating nature, more than 10 million caregivers of individuals with the disease are unpaid family members, friends, or volunteers. For these reasons, it is no surprise that research and medical trials are ongoing to combat the disease. Just as important as research from the scientific community, is knowledge of the steps people can take to reduce their risk for developing the disease. The December issue of Archives of Neurology reported that a high level of “good” cholesterol has been found to be linked to a reduced risk for developing Alzheimer’s.[2]

Senior Journal reported on the study from the Archives, explaining that researchers studied 1,130 healthy adults from a pool of Medicare recipients from New York, to study a possible relationship between HDL and Alzheimer’s symptoms.
While the researchers conclude that higher HDL cholesterol was associated with a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, they also note that “[a]n important consideration in the interpretation of the results is that it was conducted an urban multiethnic elderly community with a high prevalence of risk factors for mortality and dementia.” In other words, as applied to younger individuals, the correlation between HDL and reduced risk for developing Alzheimer’s is unclear.

[1] Alz.org, Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures (2010), available at http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp
[2] Senior Journal notes that the study was supported by the National Institute on Aging, the Charles S. Robertson Memorial Gift for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Foundation.

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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