What is the role of cholesterol in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) in Down syndrome (DS)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019
  • Author: Norberto Alvarez, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Higher levels of total cholesterol might be associated with increased risk of AD in DS mostly in the presence of APOE epsilon 4. The lipid transporter ATP-binding cassette G1(ABCG1) present in chromosome 21 may be related to the development of AD in DS. If this is true, statins may be useful in the prevention of AD in DS.

The effect of total cholesterol and statins was evaluated in 123 Caucasian adults with DS. [38] In this study, participants with TC > or = 200mg/dL had twice as much risk of developing AD than subjects with lower TC. However, in those individuals taking statins, the risk of developing AD was less than half that of participants with the same higher TC levels who did not use statins. This result suggests a beneficial effect of statins, however, at the present time there is not enough information to suggest the use of statins for the prevention of AD in persons with DS. [39]   

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