Researchers at Texas A&M's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have uncovered a worrying link between cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease, claiming that high cholesterol levels appear to increase the toxicity of a peptide associated with the development and advancement of the clinical condition.
A study conducted by Bryan-College Station and published in FEBS Journal -- the Federation of European Biochemical Societies journal has unveiled that certain lipids can amplify the toxicity of amyloid beta peptides, which are believed to be a contributing factor to the onset of Alzheimer's disease. These amyloid beta fragments can accumulate in the spaces between nerve cells and form plaques that may play a role in the development of dementia and senility.
Revealed the connection between Alzheimer's disease and the composition of lipids in neuronal membranes, the primary investigator of the study, Dr. Kurouski, an assistant professor, said, "The interaction between amyloid beta and lipids could result in the formation of small, toxic clusters called oligomers and the findings suggest that these lipids can modify the shape of amyloid beta peptides, which may increase their toxicity and contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's." This can directly impact the amyloid plaques associated with dementia, causing a gradual decline in a person's memory, thinking, behaviour, and social skills, leading to a loss of overall functioning.
The study further suggests that dietary modifications may be an effective and practical approach to managing Alzheimer's disease, as changes in a person's diet can affect the lipid composition of the neurons.
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