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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2006, Article ID 73976, 17 pages
Review Article

Roles of Cholesterol and Lipids in the Etiopathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease

1Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neurosciences, Millennium Institute for Advanced Studies in Cell Biology and Biotechnology (CBB), Millennium Building, Las Encinas 3370, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile
2Department of Chemistry, Arturo Prat University, avenue Arturo Prat 2120, Iquique, Chile
3Department of Neurological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Salvador 486, Providencia, Santiago 750-0922, Chile

Received 2 December 2005; Revised 25 May 2006; Accepted 30 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 Leonel Rojo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alzheimer's disease is the principal cause of dementia throughout the world and the fourth cause of death in developed economies.This brain disorder is characterized by the formation of brain protein aggregates, namely, the paired helical filaments and senile plaques. Oxidative stress during life, neuroinflamamtion, and alterations in neuron-glia interaction patterns have been also involved in the etiopathogenesis of this disease. In recent years, cumulative evidence has been gained on the involvement of alteration in neuronal lipoproteins activity, as well as on the role of cholesterol and other lipids in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disorder. In this review, we analyze the links between changes in cholesterol homeostasis, and the changes of lipids of major importance for neuronal activity and Alheimer's disease. The investigation on the fine molecular mechanisms underlying the lipids influence in the etiopathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease may shed light into its treatment and medical management.