by Judy George for MedPage Today:

Elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels were tied to a higher probability of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a case series showed.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s patients had higher LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (Apo B) levels, even after adjusting for the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE E4) allele — a genetic risk factor known to raise circulating cholesterol — reported Thomas Wingo, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues.

Moreover, early-onset Alzheimer’s cases were strongly associated with rare variants of APOB, which codes for the major protein of LDL cholesterol, they wrote in JAMA Neurology.

“A big question is whether there is a causal link between cholesterol levels in the blood and Alzheimer’s risk,” said Wingo. “The existing data is murky on this point.”