Navigation Links
What's Good for Heart May Also Be Good for Brain
Date:12/14/2010

By Ellin Holohan
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Sticking to a heart-healthy lifestyle may also ward off Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study that suggests that raising "good" cholesterol levels can help prevent the brain disorder in older people.

The study, published in the December issue of Archives of Neurology, found that people who had low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol had a 60 percent greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease after the age of 65 than those who had high levels.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance composed of "good and bad" cholesterol and triglycerides found in the bloodstream. More than 50 percent of the U.S. population has high levels of "bad" cholesterol, according to the study.

"Our study suggests that high HDL levels ['good' cholesterol] are associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Christiane Reitz, the study's author. "Ways to increase HDL levels include losing weight [if overweight], aerobic exercise and a healthy diet."

By treating problems with cholesterol levels, "we can lower the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in the population," said Reitz.

Some medications, such as statins, fibrates and niacin, that are used to lower "bad" cholesterol also raise "good" cholesterol, said Reitz, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University's Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease in New York City.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, and those numbers could triple by 2050, according to health officials.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that about 5 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have late-onset Alzheimer's disease, the more common form of the disorder, and the prevalence increases with age. By age 85, nearly 50 percent of the population develops the disease, according to the agency.

Early-onset Alzheimer's, a rare form of the disease, begins in middle age and runs in families. Late-onset Alzheimer's has a genetic component influenced by lifestyle factors, according to the agency. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but a few drugs can help reduce symptoms for a time, according to experts.

However, people can cut their risk by reducing their intake of trans-fats and increasing monounsaturated fats that keep "good" cholesterol high and "bad" cholesterol low, said Reitz, noting that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol also helps. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils, avocados, peanut butter and many nuts and seeds.

The 1,130 study participants were drawn from a random sample of Medicare recipients in New York City. The participants were screened for Alzheimer's, and those with symptoms were excluded. Screening for the study began in 1999 and follow-ups were conducted every 18 months until the data was analyzed in 2010.

Participants also underwent a battery of tests measuring mental functions, such as memory, language processing, visual-spatial orientation and executive function. Executive function allows people to comprehend instructions and complete a given task.

During the study, 101 cases of Alzheimer's disease were identified, at an average age of 83 years.

One weakness of the research is that it was conducted among elderly residents of an urban community with a high prevalence of risk factors, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to the study. The findings may not apply to a younger, healthier population.

One expert on the disease, Catherine M. Roe of Washington University in St. Louis, said it was already known that "good" cholesterol benefits the heart, but this study shows "an additional reason to make sure we live a healthy lifestyle."

"These results are important because they suggest that an increase in HDL cholesterol may also help ward off Alzheimer's disease," said Roe, a research assistant professor at the school's Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

The study is strong because it used a large random sample of elderly people, Roe added. But she cautioned that the results need to be duplicated.

However, "since the authors did not find an effect of HDL cholesterol in their previous, similar study, I think we have to be cautious about these results until they are also demonstrated in other samples," Roe noted.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, getting exercise and losing weight as recommended by Reitz, Roe said that quitting smoking could help people increase levels of "good" cholesterol.

"I think it's a great idea to talk with your doctor about what you specifically can do to live the healthiest lifestyle you can," Roe suggested.

More information

To learn more about cholesterol levels, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Christiane Reitz, M.D., Ph.D., assistant research professor, neurology, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Columbia University, New York City; Catherine M. Roe, Ph.D., assistant research professor of neurology, Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.; December 2010, Archives of Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. ICU Patients at Risk for Rare Heart Rhythm Problem
2. Cook With Love This Valentines Day With Heart-Smart Recipes
3. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
4. Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
5. Womens Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking
6. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
7. Migraine Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk
8. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
9. Compound shows promise against intractable heart failure
10. New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
11. Ex-President Clinton Undergoes Heart Procedure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
What's Good for Heart May Also Be Good for Brain
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... SeQuel Response ... the multichannel growth agency among the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., putting it ... of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... An August 2 article on NextShark discusses ... largely influenced by the growing popularity of “pretty boys” in both K-Pop and television ... of male appearance are changing not only in the Asian nation, where plastic surgery ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... The Journey to Healing Through Forgiveness ($15.99, paperback, 9781498497626; $7.99, eBook, 9781498497633) ... to encourage inner healing of memories and achieve forgiveness, through a progressive journey ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... Inc. Magazine Unveils ... at No. 132 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 3,004.8% , NEW YORK, August 16, ... Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... , ... Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC recently announced it was naming ... the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Employment Law groups. , Ms. Parks joined Momkus ... of employment litigation, commercial litigation and business disputes. Her experience includes all aspects of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Fenita J. Caldwell ... a Pinnacle Lifetime Professional in the Field of ... at Turing Pharmaceuticals, AG. Her skills and areas ... building.                ... years of experience as a highly successful sales ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... , Aug. 2, 2017  Life Flight Network and ... The agreement improves patient care and operational efficiency for patients ... Springfield , Cottage Grove , and ... medical transportation. PeaceHealth and Life Flight Network work collaboratively to ... during transport, or when a time sensitive emergency exists. ...
(Date:8/1/2017)...   CerSci Therapeutics , a non-opioid drug development ... has received notice from the National Institute on Drug ... that it has been awarded a Direct-to-Phase II Small ... 2017 with an additional $1,000,000 to follow in 2018. ... of their lead non-opioid drug candidate CT-044 to the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: