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Diabetes and Elevated Levels of Cholesterol Linked to Faster Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Patients
Date:3/6/2009

Heart Disease and Stroke Linked to Increased Cognitive Decline only in Alzheimer's Patients who carry the APOE-µ4 Gene - Previously Implicated in Late-Onset Disease

New York -- A history of diabetes and elevated levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, are associated with faster cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from Columbia University Medical Center researchers. These results add further evidence of the role of vascular risk factors in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The study will be published in the March 2009 issue of Archives of Neurology. This special issue, titled, Archives of Neurology: Neurological Disorders Related to Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, the Metabolic Syndrome, and Other Comorbidities, is part of a special JAMA/Archives focus on diabetes and metabolic disorders.

"These findings indicate that controlling vascular conditions may be one way to delay the course of Alzheimer's, which would be a major development in the treatment of this devastating disease as currently there are few treatments available to slow its progression," said Yaakov Stern, Ph.D., a professor at the Taub Institute for the Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at Columbia University Medical Center, and senior author of the paper.
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