University of Virginia School of Medicine-led Study Reveals Cholesterol Links to AD Plaque Formation

University of Virginia School of Medicine-led Study Reveals Cholesterol Links to AD Plaque Formation

Does brain-manufactured cholesterol play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease? According to recently published research led by scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and collaborators, the cholesterol produced by astrocytes is necessary for controlling the production of amyloid-beta, a sticky protein that develops in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. Accumulating into insoluble plaques that “are a hallmark of the disease,” waves of biotech development efforts target these plaques for removing or preventing them in the first place—all in the quest to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s. The new findings help point to how and why plaques form in the first place and could indicate why genes associated with cholesterol could be linked to a heightened risk for the disease.

Writing for the University of Virginia School of Medicine News, John Barney recently reported on the notable research breakthroughs. Dr. Heather A. Ferris, UVA Health’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, went on the record, “This study helps us to understand why genes linked to cholesterol are so important to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.” She c...

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