High HDL cholesterol, blood pressure can increase risk

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High blood pressure and high cholesterol can contribute to an increased risk of dementia. Design by MNT; Photography by Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images & TEK IMAGE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
  • Both high cholesterol and high blood pressure can put people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Researchers from a European collaboration have discovered that people have a genetically increased risk of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and high systolic blood pressure also carry a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists believe these findings could provide new drug targets and improve early dementia prevention.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure are both known modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease – a form of dementia that causes memory loss and cognitive decline.

Now, researchers of the European Alzheimer & Dementia Biobank Mendelian Randomization (EADB-MR) Collaboration have also found that genetically determined elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and high systolic blood pressure are associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists believe these genetic links could be used to develop new drug targets and treatments to prevent dementia.

This research was recently published in the journal JAMA network opened.

Cholesterol is a fat that is produced naturally in the body, mainly by the liver and intestines.

It is essential to help the body make vitamin D and be sure hormonessuch as estrogen and testosterone. And it is also an important building block for cell walls and body tissues, as well as helping to form digestive bile in the digestive tract.

Since cholesterol is not water soluble, it is transported through the bloodstream lipoproteins.

There are two main types of cholesterol:

  • low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol, is known to build up in a person’s arteries, putting them at risk for a stroke or heart attack.
  • high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as “good” cholesterol, helps eliminate the buildup of LDL cholesterol from the arteries.

Although HDL cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol, too much in the body can be harmful.

Previous studies show that high HDL cholesterol can contribute to inflammation in the body. And other research found that high levels of HDL cholesterol can be harmful to the heart and are associated with one increased risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular mortality in men.

A person’s blood pressure measures the force it takes for blood to move through the cardiovascular system.

When a doctor reads a person’s blood pressure, there are two numbers involved:

  • The top number, known as the systolic pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is actively contracting.
  • The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between contractions.

Typical or healthy blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure less than 120 above a diastolic pressure less than 80.

High blood pressure — also known as hypertension — occurs when the heart has to exert an unnatural amount of force to pump blood around the body.

Sometimes only the systolic part of a person’s blood pressure is too high, over 130. This can be caused by:

According to dr. It is estimated that up to 40% of dementia cases can be prevented or delayed by adjusting 12 risk factors over the life course.

“However, the evidence behind several of these risk factors is of questionable quality. To recommend the most efficient prevention strategy, we need to pinpoint those modifiable risk factors that (are) directly a cause of dementia,” she said. Medical news today.

“Here, genetic studies of large populations can help us because a genetically determined, modifiable risk factor is created at conception, and thus is a very unbiased estimate of the direct impact of that risk factor on the future development of dementia,” Dr. Frikke-Schmidt said.

Because the genetic risk factor is determined at conception, Dr. Frikke-Schmidt, it will not be influenced by other potentially confounding risk factors occurring over the life course.

“Therefore, these genetic studies of large populations can robustly inform us about the direct causal value of a specific risk factor. Having this evidence allows us to recommend with greater confidence that these risk factors should be prevented from occurring, or if they are already present, they need to be treated as soon as possible,” she explained.

For this study, Dr. Frikke-Schmidt and her team conducted a genetic association study that included 39,000 people clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and 401,000 control participants without the condition.

After analysis, researchers found that those who are genetically at risk for developing high HDL cholesterol levels have an increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our findings that genetically determined high HDL cholesterol levels were associated with a high risk of Alzheimer’s disease are consistent with local properties of the HDL particle in the brain,” Dr. Frikke Schmidt.

“High HDL cholesterol is associated with the presence of large floating HDL particles that may be dysfunctional in local cholesterol transport in the brain and across the blood-brain barrier, and this may have implications for cholesterol delivery to brain cells and clearance of sticky waste. Products.”
— dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt

“Since we now suggest that high HDL cholesterol mimics causative pathways in the brain, this will encourage us to take a closer look at HDL pathways in the brain and apply a recently developed multiple strategy that enables genomics-driven drug discovery. is called. Hopefully we will come up with potential new drug targets,” she added.

In addition, scientists found that people with a genetically higher risk of developing high systolic blood pressure also had an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“High systolic blood pressure is a known risk factor for poor brain health. The very important new finding of our study is that we now show that high systolic blood pressure is most likely a direct cause of the future development of Alzheimer’s disease. This highlights the need for a better focus on early prevention and treatment.”

— dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt

“It is well known that overweight and obesity (are) one of the causes of elevated blood pressure, underlining that early prevention of lifestyle risk factors is critical to preventing dementia as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” added Dr. Frikke Schmidt.

After reviewing this study, Dr. David Merrill, a geriatric psychiatrist and director of the Pacific Brain Health Center at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California, Medical news today that these are interesting findings that look at genetically determined risks for what are considered modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

“So if someone is genetically at risk for high cholesterol or is genetically at risk for high blood pressure — meaning they could in all likelihood have that throughout life — then over time that may be associated with a higher risk of a causative pathway for Alzheimer’s.” he said.

Dr. Merrill said this could allow researchers to develop drugs that treat systemic lifelong health problems, such as abnormal cholesterol levels or elevated blood pressure.

“And by treating systemic health problems more thoroughly or aggressively throughout life, you can prevent the development of dementia so that you never need treatment for the pathology of Alzheimer’s because it doesn’t happen — that’s exciting,” said he.

We definitely need more studies of the genetic associations that predispose people to modifiable risk and the resulting outcomes in terms of dementia. In the field of dementia, we need more curiosity and more effort to optimize systemic body health, including cholesterol and blood pressure, to ultimately prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s later in life.”
—Dr David Merrill

High HDL cholesterol, blood pressure can increase risk

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