Good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is essential to health. Still, the impact of HDL on the brain is not fully understood. Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that impacts people’s ability to think and function in everyday life. Researchers are still working on developing treatments and understanding the condition. A recent study suggests that higher levels of small high-density lipoproteins might decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating condition that primarily affects older adults. People who have it can become forgetful and become unable to carry out tasks of daily living. Currently, the disorder has no cure. Researchers are still trying to understand how the disease develops, how to prevent it, and how to best treat it. A recent study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s AssociationTrusted Source offers new insight. Researchers studied the connection between small HDLs or “good” cholesterol in the cerebrospinal fluid and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The results suggest that higher levels of small HDL were associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Cholesterol is a substance that your body needs. For example, the body uses cholesterol to make certain hormones, properly digest food, and make new cells. The body makes cholesterol, but people can also get it from food sources. As noted by the American Heart AssociationTrusted Source, cholesterol exists in the body in two primary forms: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDLs can build up in the bloodstream and increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks, so it is essential for your LDL count not to be too high.
The body’s HDL or “good” cholesterol helps to carry cholesterol back to the liver so that the liver can break it down. But HDLs can impact other areas of health in ways researchers do not fully understand. For example, researchers are still trying to understand how HDL levels affect the brain.
The study authors note that the HDL in the brain is slightly different from the HDL in the rest of the body.
Alzheimer’s diseaseTrusted Source is a disorder that impacts the brain, and it typically occurs in adults over the age of sixty. It impacts the brain’s nerves and is related to the buildup of specific proteins in the brain. Ultimately, the neurons in the brain die and lose their ability to communicate with other brain cells.
This damage causes people with Alzheimer’s disease to have memory, language, and decision-making problems.