Abstentia from dementia

By • Published: June 18th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Most people know it’s “heart smart” to keep cholesterol levels low.

Now someone needs to come up with a catchy saying to describe low cholesterol’s benefits to the brain.

Research presented at the recent American Academy of Neurology conference shows a surprising link between cholesterol levels and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. People in their early forties who had cholesterol under two-hundred milligrams were far less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with higher cholesterol.

Scientists recently updated the conditions of nearly ten-thousand men and women who were forty- to forty-five-years-old between 1964 and 1973.

People whose total cholesterol was between two hundred forty-nine and five-hundred were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people whose cholesterol levels were lower than one-hundred-ninety-eight.

Even people with levels of two hundred twenty-one to two hundred forty-eight were more than one-and-a-quarter times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

High midlife cholesterol increased the risk of Alzheimer’s in people in their forties regardless of whether they had been smokers, overweight or had diabetes or high blood pressure.

The moral of the story is that people should see their doctors and attack high cholesterol when they are younger. That could be good for their heart and their brain.

All we need now is a catch phrase to capture the spirit of that idea.

Those in the cardiac camp have already paired “smart” and “heart.”

Hmmm, how about “Brain Gain” or “Abstentia From Dementia.”