IJCEM Copyright © 2008-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Int J Clin Exp Med 2010;3(2):103-109

Review Article
Modulation of cholesterol in midlife affords cognitive advantage during ageing – a
role for altered redox balance

M. Cristina Polidori1, Ludger Pientka1, Gereon Nelles MD2, Helen R. Griffiths3

Department of Geriatrics, Marienhospital Herne, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; Department of Neurology, St. Elisabeth-
Krankenhaus Köln, Cologne, Germany; School of Health and Life Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Received February 8, 2010, accepted March 26, 2010, available online March 30, 2010

Abstract: General practitioners, geriatricians, neurologists and health care professionals all over the world will be facing by 2040 the
diagnostic, therapeutic and socioeconomic challenges of over 80 million people with dementia. Dementia is one of the most common
diseases in the elderly which drastically affects daily life and everyday personal activities, is often associated with behavioural
symptoms, personality change and numerous clinical complications and increases the risk for urinary incontinence, hip fracture, and –
most markedly – the dependence on nursing care. The costs of care for patients with dementia are therefore immense. Serum
cholesterol levels above 6.5 mmol/L are known to be associated with an increased RR of 1.5 and 2.1 to develop Alzheimer’s disease,
the most common form of dementia, and a reduction of serum cholesterol in midlife is associated with a lowered dementia risk. The
aim of this work is to critically discuss some of the main results reported recently in the literature in this respect and to provide the
pathophysiological rationale for the control of dyslipidemia in the prevention of dementia onset and progression. (IJCEM1002004).

Key words: Cholesterol, LDL, oxidation, ageing, cognition

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Address all correspondence to:
M. Cristina Polidori, MD PhD
Department of Geriatrics
Marienhospital Herne
Ruhr University Bochum
Widumerstr. 8
D-44627 Herne
Tel: +49 2323 499 2622
polidori@uni-duesseldorf.de (preferred)