Help to your heart to help to your brain too. That’s find out the scientists, who tell that if you are sticking to a heart-healthy lifestyle you may also ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The new strady suggests that the 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.
The cholesterol itself is a waxy substance that was composed of “good and bad” cholesterol and also triglycerides found in the bloodstream. Many americans, more than a half population, has too 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.
And there are some medications, for example statins, fibrates and niacin, which are more usage for lowering of “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.