Dyslipidemia Ups Neuritic Plaque Risk in Alzheimer's

High cholesterol, triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoproteins up plaque risk in AD in Japan

TUESDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- An abnormal lipid profile with high levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) is significantly associated with neuritic plaque (NP)-type Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in a general Japanese cohort, according to a study published in the Sept. 13 issue of Neurology.

T. Matsuzaki, M.D., Ph.D., from the Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and colleagues searched for evidence of AD-related pathologic risk of abnormal lipid metabolism by examining associations between lipid profiles and typical AD-related pathologic outcomes in brain specimens from 76 men and 71 women. In 1988, the participants' TC, triglycerides, and HDLC were measured, and LDLC calculated using the Friedewald formula. Autopsies were performed on the brain specimens of participants who had died between 1998 and 2003 to look for AD-related pathologic outcomes including neuritic plaques (NPs), and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs).

The investigators found that, even in sparse to moderate stages, patients with NPs had significantly higher adjusted means of TC, LDLC, TC/HDLC, LDLC/HDLC, and non-HDLC (defined as TC-HDLC), than patients without NPs in multivariate models adjusted for APOE ε4 carrier and other confounding factors. The risk of NPs was significantly higher in patients in the highest quartiles of these lipids than in those in the lower respective quartiles. There was no correlation between NFTs and any lipid profile.

"Using a series of autopsy cases from a general Japanese population, we found that high levels of TC, LDLC, TC/HDLC, LDLC/HDLC, and non-HDLC were significantly associated with plaque-type AD pathology," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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