News Release

'Good' cholesterol may have different chemical properties in Alzheimer's patients

Session A14 - Abstract 97

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Heart Association

High-density lipoprotein (HDL - "good" cholesterol) in people with Alzheimer's disease has different chemical properties than HDL in adults without the disease, and this may contribute to cognitive impairment in those with Alzheimer's, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2017.

HDL is the only type of lipoprotein that can cross into and out of the blood brain barrier, and adequate HDL is associated with good cognitive function. Researchers analyzed the chemical components in HDL from the blood of Alzheimer's patients and compared them to HDL from healthy adults.

They found that compared to healthy people, Alzheimer's patients had a 5.5 times increase of a dysfunctional HDL subfraction, as well as a decreased protein/lipid ratio.

The associated reduction in proteins needed for brain function, such as albumin, and increase in proinflammatory components could favor inflammation in the brain and contribute to cognitive impairment.


Hua-Chen Chan, Ph.D., Assistant Investigator, Center for Lipid Biosciences, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Note: Actual presentation is 4:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

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