Alzheimer’s and heart disease: Is there a connection?
|The heart and the brain are different organs of the body, both with clearly defined jobs and both indispensable. They are also co-dependent, as one cannot function without the other, and it is believed that brain function relies strongly on heart health.|
|There is evidence to demonstrate that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is related to high cholesterol and inflammation, two of the risk factors associated with heart disease, and new research has identified specific genes associated with these risk factors that can be linked to AD, namely C-reactive protein (CRP, an inflammatory protein) and plasma fats.|
|The study in question examined the genetic make-up of over 200,000 people in order to identify common elements in the genes associated with AD, CRP and cholesterol [high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides (TG)]. The search revealed at least 55 sections of genes associated with CRP, HDL, LDL and TG which contributed to a greater risk of AD. Further analysis identified two novel genes (HS3ST1 and ECHDC3) that were previously not known to be associated with AD risk. The results of the study indicate that there are several sections of genes that are responsible for high plasma fat levels and inflammation which may play a role in the development of AD. The results also highlight the possibility of identifying people who may be at risk of developing heart disease and therefore may also be at risk for AD, and treating these conditions early in order to stave off the development of AD, at least for a few years.|
|In other words, take care of your heart, and the brain will take care of itself.|