Research out of the University of Cambridge has found that cholesterol is linked to Alzheimer’s disease as a catalyst for the formation of beta-amyloid proteins. While investigating what makes amyloid proteins aggregate, researchers found that cholesterol in the cell membrane of neurons act as a trigger and speeds up the process by a factor of 20. Cholesterol itself does not cross the blood-brain barrier but is found in cell membranes naturally. This interaction occurs through the proteins sticking to the lipid cell membranes containing cholesterol and, once stuck, have a greater chance of connecting with other proteins and aggregating. According to lead investigator Professor Michele Vendruscolo, the next step is not to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but to identify how to regulate the interaction between the two molecules.
SOURCE: MedicalXpress; May 7, 2018;
AUTHOR: University of Cambridge
DATE RETRIEVED: May 11, 2018