Cure for Alzheimer’s? Functions of HDL Cholesterol Continue to Surprise

It’s too early to know if this will work but it does appear promising.  Tying in a protein found on HDL cholesterol (known as Apo E) with amyloid has resulted in a basic science experiment which shows real promise for Alzhiemer’s disease treatment.  The Wall Street Journal featured an article showing that a compound known as bexarotene (safe for treating skin cancer) stimulated mice genetics to increase Apo E production. This was associated with increasing dissolving amyloid plaque in a mouse Alzhiemer’s disease model and a sustained improvement in cognition function. Prior to the compound being given to the mice, they couldn’t smell or make a nest (loss of smell is frequent in Alzhiemer’s patients). Within 3 days they were making organized nests (normal behavior lost when they are demonstrating Alzheimer’s disease). This research will lead to human dosing trials according to the article.

Last summer I attended an HDL class sponsored by the National Lipid Association and learned that there is a metabolic pathway whereby HDL cholesterol does affect amyloid and other neuroprotein metabolism. This article suggests that the Apo E protein found in HDL may be what regulates this.  I predict that we will learn over time that HDL cholesterol has many more functions than our current simplistic understanding about returning cholesterol from cells back to the liver–which in and of itself is very important for treating and preventing atherosclerosis.

HDL has long been recognized as the “good cholesterol” with higher levels correlated with reduced cardiovascular events.  It’s important to pay special attention to your cholesterol levels – make sure you schedule regular visits with your doctor and consider supplementing with high quality heart healthy vitamins.

About thedoctorsreport

Dr. Kordonowy is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been in private practice since 1993. His group practice is in Fort Myers, Florida. His website is: He earned his degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas and completed his residency as Chief Resident at Orlando Regional Hospital System. As Chief Resident, Dr. Kordonowy was recognized as the Outstanding Resident by the American College of Physicians. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Internal Medicine. In December 2005, Dr. Kordonowy became Board Certified in the new field of Clinical Lipidology by the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. Lipidology is the specialty of diagnosis and management of cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism disorders. Cardiovascular disease risk assessment is also part of this specialty. He now serves as president of the Independent Physicians Association of Lee County. He is active in the Lee County Medical Society, the Florida Medical Society , the Florida Lipid Foundation, National Lipid Association and the American Medical Association.
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1 Response to Cure for Alzheimer’s? Functions of HDL Cholesterol Continue to Surprise

  1. Pingback: Is Cholesterol the Key to Understanding Alzheimer’s? | The Doctor's Report

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