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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 184042, 5 pages
Research Article

Dyslipidemia and Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in Alzheimer's Disease

1Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 Southwest Samuel Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA
2Biomedical Engineering, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
3The Portland Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR, USA

Received 21 December 2011; Accepted 27 January 2012

Academic Editor: Andrea Fuso

Copyright © 2012 Gene L. Bowman 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.


Background. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction may have a significant role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Modifiable factors associated with BBB function may have therapeutic implication. This study tested the hypothesis that dyslipidemia is associated with BBB impairment in mild-to-moderate AD. Methods. Thirty-six subjects with AD were followed for 1 year. Fasting CSF and plasma were collected with clinical assessments at baseline and 12 months. BBB impairment was defined as CSF albumin index ≥9. Independent t-tests and linear regression assessed the relationship between plasma lipoproteins and BBB integrity. Results. Dyslipidemia was prevalent in 47% of the population, and in 75% of those with BBB impairment. Subjects with BBB impairment had significantly higher mean plasma triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol (TG, P=0.007; HDL, P=0.043). Plasma triglycerides explained 22% of the variance in BBB integrity and remained significant after controlling for age, gender, ApoE-4 genotype, blood pressure, and statin use. Conclusion. Dyslipidemia is more prevalent in AD subjects with BBB impairment. Plasma triglyceride and HDL cholesterol may have a role in maintaining BBB integrity in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease.