Experimental in vitro and in vivo findings as well as some retrospective epidemiological studies link cholesterol homeostasis with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and there are some reports suggesting that statins may be efficacious in preventing or treating AD. In vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate that modiffication of cholesterol levels alters amyloid precursor protein and amyloid β peptide (Aβ) levels but the majority of human data on serum and brain cholesterol levels do not support a role of cholesterol in AD. Moreover, the initial epidemiological reports on statins and AD may have overestimated the extent of protection, since prospective studies and recent meta-analyses show little, if any, support for the efficacy of statins in dementia. This brief but focused review examines support for and against the hypothesis that cholesterol is Involved in AD and addresses the issue as to whether statins should be considered for the prevention and treatment of AD.
- Alzheimer's disease