The Link between Alzheimer's and Cholesterol Levels

by Maureen E. Hook, Ph. D.
January 31, 2014
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New information is being revealed almost weekly, it seems, about a particular activity warding off Alzheimer’s or minimizing its risk. Well, here is another piece of the puzzle–it appears that certain cholesterol levels are not only good for one’s heart, but for one’s brain as well. New research from the University of California, Davis is showing a link between the two. According to Dr. Bruce Reed at UC-Davis, “Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer’s, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.” Dr. Reed’s team used Pittsburgh Compound B (known as PIB), a dye that can mark the accumulation of amyloid in the brain. Excess amyloid accumulation is widely believed to be a cause of Alzheimer’s. What they found was that the profile for causing heart disease–high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein)– also was responsible for higher levels of amyloid. The implication being that those who have high amyloid levels, even though they may not be displaying any symptoms at the time, are more at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
As a result of this information coupled with what is already known, the American Heart Association recommends that HDL and LDL cholesterol levels be kept to the following: HDL should be above 60 milligrams per deciliter of blood and LDL should be kept below 100 mg/dL. This it appears will benefit both the heart and the brain. Levels outside these ranges may be needed to be treated with statin drugs.
We are fortunate to be living in these times when researchers are learning so much about what contributes to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps soon, they will know enough to eradicate this disease that is afflicting so many people around the world, robbing them of their final years and all the pleasures it has to offer.
(http://www.nbcnews.com/health/cholesterol-levels-linked-early-signs-alzheimers-brain-2D11819018) (12-31-13)
ask kitkat logoCats and Thinking – Part 2
Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, what else can you tell us about cats
and their thinking?
Kit Kat: Well, I like to tell people about why cats bring their owners presents such as dead animals. My sister, Misty, loves to hunt voles. She is a small cat, and they are small prey. She shakes them in her mouth until they succumb, and then she deposits them on our driveway near the garage or on the walk at our side entrance.
Dr. John Bradshaw, a biologist at the University of Bristol in England, thinks that cats have a simple hunting strategy. They really aren’t seeking prey, at least domesticated cats aren’t. They just can sniff other beings, especially rodents. They then position themselves downwind from the prey and wait for them to appear. Once in view, they can’t resist the chase, and they jump into action. Bringing the prey to their human is a way of getting it away from other cats who might disturb them if they plopped down there and then. Once near humans, they realize that there are other tastier treats available near them. They then leave the prey and seek out something from their loving owners. They consider their owners, according to Dr. Bradshaw, as substitutes for their mothers or as larger, non-hostile cats.
So, it appears cats actually do think–they just don’t do it in the way you humans do. Of course, the subject of their thoughts is more concrete than humans. You’re not likely to find a cat contemplating investments on the stock exchange or how to bring down the national debt!
We’ll leave the heavy stuff to you humans!
Upcoming Events

  • Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro, Esq. will speak at the Parkinson’s and Caregivers Coffee Break on medical/legal issues concerning elders and those with significant health issues. The coffee break will take place at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 717 Tucson Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462 on February 5, 2014 from 10AM-12:00PM.
  • Hook Law Center will be speaking on Long Term Care Insurance (traditional and hybrid), Estate Planning, and Tax Planning just to name a few of the topics at Leigh Hall Assisted Living. This speaking engagement will be on February 5, 2014 at 6:00PM, and the facilities address is 890 Poplar Hall Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502.
  •  Andrew H. Hook, will begin his series of speeches at The Ballentine with Long Term Care Planning Part I (Estate Planning) on February 17, 2014. This will be included as part of their family night, so dinner will be from 5:00-6:00PM and the presentation will be from 6:00PM-7:30PM. The address to the facility is 7211 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505.
  • United Way of South Hampton Roads is where Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro will be presenting some benefits and strategies for Estate Planning on March 3, 2014. This presentation starts at 6:00pm and the address is,  2515 Walmer Road, Norfolk, VA.
  • Hook Law Center is a sponsor of the American Heart Association Ball which will take place on March 8, 2014 at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. For event information, contact Stephanie Phipps at 757-628-2608.
  • Hook Law Center will be presenting a live webinar on POAs, AMDs and the Ethics of It All in Charlottesville, VA on April 10, 2014. This webinar will be hosted by Virginia Continuing Legal Education.
  • Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro, an attorney at Hook Law Center, is a member of the advisory board of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Please visit our website if you have any questions about this event on April 12, 2014.

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