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Friday 28th October 2016

Dementia link to 'good' cholesterol

1st July 2008

Scientists have connected the lack of a certain type of cholesterol with memory problems and dementia.


According to a study by UK and French scientists which examined over 3,000 civil servants, a low level of "good" cholesterol was linked to a weak memory.

The research could mean that patients could be tested to find out if they had a high risk of the condition using a blood test.

The lack of HDL, the "good" cholesterol, and the presence of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, has previously been linked with heart disease and stroke.

Having high levels of HDL is thought to offer protection against " damage to blood supply" which is caused when arteries narrow.

The amount of HDL in the body can be increased by exercising and eating foods containing olive oil.

The team, from University College London and the INSERM institute in France, used blood samples collected from civil servants to work out how cholesterol levels affected memory over five years.

Subjects who had low levels of HDL had 53% more risk of memory difficulties than those with higher levels.

Dr Archarna Singh-Manoux, who led the study, said: "Memory problems are key in the diagnosis of dementia. This suggests that low HDL cholesterol might also be a risk factor for dementia."

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