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High cholesterol 'linked' to Alzheimer's

18th October 2006

New research suggests that high levels of cholesterol may be involved in the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) investigated the effects of feeding mice a diet high in fat and cholesterol and found lower memory abilities after two months, an early symptom of Alzheimer's.

The researchers believe that their work backs up previous studies suggesting a connection between high levels of cholesterol and the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

This opens up the possibility that a better diet could help slow the progress of this condition and other dementias, but the positive effects this may have are still unclear.

In a press statement the MUSC team said that high cholesterol "may contribute" to the problems associated with Alzheimer's, such as memory loss and confusion.

Alzheimer's is one form of dementia, whereby the brain is damaged and can no longer function properly.

Alzheimer's affects half a million people in the UK, according to the Alzheimer's Society, and is the most common type of dementia.