Is Cholesterol the Key to Understanding Alzheimer’s?

This article presents a brief analysis of the following study presented in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

Variants in the ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter (ABCA7), Apolipoprotein E ϵ4,and the Risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease in African Americans


While this article is definitely too complex for the average reader, it does further highlight something I have discussed in the past.  There is new evidence that genes involving lipid/cholesterol transport are linked to increased Alzheimer’s disease risk.  It is my opinion that the amyloid and other protein deposits that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients is involved in metabolic pathways shared by the cholesterol transport system.  HDL cholesterol is implicated in this pathway process and now this recent article implicates a transporter system called ATP-Cassette binding transporter. This system is involved in cholesterol transport as well.  There is evidence that using statins in at risk Alzheimer’s patients is associated with lower rates of clinical disease.

In a previous post , I discussed an interesting mouse experiment showing that increasing Apo E (associated with HDL and VLDL cholesterol metabolism) resulted in the mice clearing the protein associated with Alzhiemer’s and that these animals bred as Alzheimer’s models resolved their memory and abnormal smell function.  This suggests that if we can alter these pathways in humans we might actually cure/reverse Alzhiemer’s even if clinically present.

Onward and upward with studying this hypothesis!!!

Raymond Kordonowy, MD