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Alzheimer’s Disease, Cholesterol, and Statins: The Junctions of Important Metabolic Pathways

Authors

  • Tiago Silva,

    1. CIQ/Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal)
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  • José Teixeira,

    1. CIQ/Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal)
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  • Prof. Fernando Remião,

    1. REQUIMTE/Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira 288, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal)
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  • Prof. Fernanda Borges

    Corresponding author
    1. CIQ/Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal)
    • CIQ/Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal)
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Abstract

Recent years have seen a significant increase in published data supporting the positive effects of statins on neurodegenerative diseases, in particular on Alzheimer’s disease. Statins show neuroprotective activity by a combination of different cellular and systemic mechanisms that are based on the inhibition of the biosynthesis of cholesterol and isoprenoid by-products. The promising results obtained in vivo and in epidemiological studies are generally not in accordance with those of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials. Nevertheless, these results make statins valuable assets for disease prevention rather than therapeutic agents for use when disease symptoms are already displayed. Thus, the modulation of midlife cholesterol and/or statin administration prior to the appearance of dementia or cognitive impairment may have a better long-term outcome.

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