Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders. Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia. The condition is associated with excess morbidity and mortality for seniors who are affected. Substantial evidence has been gathered, that suggest elevated cholesterol levels increase the risk of developing AD. It is also known that cholesterol levels rise as men and women age. Even those as young as 40, with borderline or high cholesterol levels are at increased risk for AD. As a result, statins are being investigated for use as preventive or therapeutic agents for AD.

Cholesterol is a major constituent of the human brain, and the brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ. Defects in cholesterol metabolism lead to structural and functional central nervous system diseases such as AD. Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol and are found most effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. These agents are safe and have low side effects.

Studies have previously shown a relationship between dietary cholesterol and increased risk for AD, and a correlation between the use of statins and a decreased risk for AD. One study indicated a reduced risk for hospitalization with dementia, among statin users. “ It is quite simple, reduction of total cholesterol which is good for your heart is good for the vessels of the brain”, said Roy Hinman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Island Doctors.“ Though AD usually affects most people later in life, it is a disease of a life time, and should be looked at like treating cardiovascular disease.  For more information on Dementia, Alzheimer’s Diseases or other Chronic Diseases visit the links below.

Alzheimer’s Association