Low 'Good' Cholesterol Hurts Memory

Study links low HDL to brain's decline—and possibly dementia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 12:27 PM CDT
Middle-aged people who don't get enough HDL suffer memory loss, the study found.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Low levels of high-density lipoprotein—so-called "good" cholesterol—lead to memory failure and perhaps dementia, a study finds. Researchers followed subjects aged 55-61, and found that patients with low HDL levels were 53% more likely to experience memory loss. "We looked at cognitive decline in midlife, but it may turn out that this decline is a risk factor for dementia," one researcher tells WebMD.

"Physicians monitor these levels regularly, but I don't think we pay enough attention to HDL cholesterol," the researcher adds. "Our results show HDL cholesterol to be important for memory, so physicians and patients should be encouraged to monitor HDL."