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Triglycerides and Alzheimer’s disease?

This study implies that increased levels of triglycerides in middle-aged individuals may be implicated in the subsequent pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. This was a longitudinal cohort study of 318 individuals with normal cognitive function at baseline (mid-life, mean age 54 years) and fasting lipid levels both at baseline and 20-year follow-up (mean age 73 years), as well as data for beta-amyloid and tau, implicated in Alzheimer’s disease pathology. At follow-up, both beta-amyloid and tau pathology were evident in 16% of subjects. Importantly, higher levels of triglycerides in midlife were independently associated with abnormal beta-amyloid and tau pathology in later life, even after adjustment for age, sex, APOE beta4, education, and multiple vascular risk factors. In addition, the authors showed that increased levels of medium and large low-density lipoprotein subfractions were significantly associated with abnormal beta-amyloid distribution based on positron emission tomography imaging, whereas large high-density lipoprotein particles were associated with decreased risk of abnormal beta-amyloid distribution.
Thus, while elevated triglycerides, a marker for high triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and remnant cholesterol, have been shown to be causal for cardiovascular disease, this study also suggests a potential role in cognitive function in later life.
Increased midlife triglycerides predict brain beta-amyloid and tau pathology 20 years later.

Nägga K, Gustavsson AM, Stomrud E et al