Advertisement

Increases in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein associated with decreased cognitive performance in healthy elderly adults

  • Con Stough
  • Andrew Pipingas
  • David CamfieldEmail author
  • Karen Nolidin
  • Karen Savage
  • Saurenne Deleuil
  • Andrew Scholey
Original Article

Abstract

The current study examined associations between blood lipid profiles and cognitive functioning using a healthy non-demented elderly sample. The sample comprised 196 healthy volunteers (male; 86: female 110) aged 60–75 years from the Australian Research Council Longevity Intervention (ARCLI) study cohort. Serum total cholesterol (T-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and triglycerides (TGL) were collected, and participants completed the Swinburne University Computerized Cognitive Assessment Battery (SUCCAB). In line with prediction, higher levels of T-C and LDL-c were found to be associated with impaired speeds of response in tasks assessing recognition memory, working memory and inhibitory processing. However, contrary to prediction both TGL and HDL-c were found to be unrelated to cognitive functioning in the current sample. It is suggested that frontal lobe function may be differentially sensitive to the effects of T-C and LDL-c accumulation during the aging process. Future data collection as part of the larger ARCLI intervention study will provide important follow-up data regarding the ability of the baseline blood lipid data to predict subsequent cognitive change.

Keywords

Cognition Ageing Blood lipids Cholesterol Triglycerides 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant to Stough, Scholey and Croft, with additional funding to Stough from Horphag, Soho Flordis International-Research and Blackmores. The study was also supported by philanthropic grants from Doug Mitchell and Roderic O’Connor to Stough. Stough was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant. Simpson and Nolidin are recipients of an Australian Government Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no actual or potential conflict of interests to declare with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

References

  1. Ancelin, M. L., Ripoche, E., Dupuy, A. M., Samieri, C., Rouaud, O., Berr, C., . . . Ritchie, K. (2014). Gender-specific associations between lipids and cognitive decline in the elderly. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 24(7), 1056–1066.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.02.003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Appleton CA, Caldwell G, McNeil A, Meerkin M, Sikaris K, Sullivan DR (2007) Recommendations for lipid testing and reporting by Australian pathology laboratories. Clin Biochem Rev 28:32–45PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Burns, M., & Duff, K. (2002) Cholesterol in Alzheimer's disease and tauopathy. In: Vol. 977. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (pp. 367–375): New York Academy of SciencesGoogle Scholar
  4. Canivez GL, Konold TR, Collins JM, Wilson G (2009) Construct validity of the Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence and wide range intelligence test: convergent and structural validity. Sch Psychol Q 24(4):252–265.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Frias, C. M., Bunce, D., Wahlin, Å., Adolfsson, R., Sleegers, K., Cruts, M., . . . Nilsson, L. G. (2007). Cholesterol and triglycerides moderate the effect of apolipoprotein E on memory functioning in older adults. J Gerontol Ser B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 62(2), P112-P118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dik MG, Jonker C, Comijs HC, Deeg DJH, Kok A, Yaffe K, Penninx BW (2007) Contribution of metabolic syndrome components to cognition in older individuals. Diabetes Care 30(10):2655–2660.  https://doi.org/10.2337/dc06-1190 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Elkana O, Dayman V, Franko M, Israel A, Springer RR, Segev S, Beeri MS (2018) The association of total cholesterol with processing speed is moderated by age in mid- to late-age healthy adults. Exp Aging Res 44(2):179–186.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0361073X.2017.1422585 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR (1975) Mini-mental state. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 12(3):189–198.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Franciosi, S., Gama Sosa, M. A., English, D. F., Oler, E., Oung, T., Janssen, W. G. M., . . . Elder, G. A. (2009). Novel cerebrovascular pathology in mice fed a high cholesterol diet. Mol Neurodegener, 4(1).  https://doi.org/10.1186/1750-1326-4-42, 42CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Hedden T, Gabrieli JDE (2004) Insights into the ageing mind: a view from cognitive neuroscience. Nat Rev Neurosci 5(2):87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Henderson VW, Guthrie JR, Dennerstein L (2003) Serum lipids and memory in a population based cohort of middle age women. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74(11):1530–1535.  https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.74.11.1530 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Kloppenborg RP, van den Berg E, Kappelle LJ, Biessels GJ (2008) Diabetes and other vascular risk factors for dementia: which factor matters most? A systematic review. Eur J Pharmacol 585(1):97–108.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.02.049 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Komulainen, P., Lakka, T. A., Kivipelto, M., Hassinen, M., Helkala, E. L., Haapala, I., . . . Rauramaa, R. (2006). Metabolic syndrome and cognitive function: a population-based follow-up study in elderly women. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord, 23(1), 29–34.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000096636 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Leritz EC, McGlinchey RE, Salat DH, Milberg WP (2016) Elevated levels of serum cholesterol are associated with better performance on tasks of episodic memory. Metab Brain Dis 31(2):465–473.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11011-016-9797-y CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Lu, Y., An, Y., Yu, H., Che, F., Zhang, X., Rong, H., . . . Xiao, R. (2017). Sex-specific nonlinear associations between serum lipids and different domains of cognitive function in middle to older age individuals. Metab Brain Dis, 32(4), 1089–1097.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11011-017-9999-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Mielke MM, Xue QL, Zhou J, Chaves PHM, Fried LP, Carlson MC (2008) Baseline serum cholesterol is selectively associated with motor speed and not rates of cognitive decline: the Women's health and aging study II. Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 63(6):619–624.  https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/63.6.619 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Morley JE, Banks WA (2010) Lipids and cognition. J Alzheimers Dis 20(3):737–747.  https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-2010-091576 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. NCEP Expert Panel (2001) Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (adult treatment Panel III). JAMA 285(19):2486–2497.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.285.19.2486 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pipingas A, Harris E, Tournier E, King R, Kras M, Stough CK (2010) Assessing the efficacy of nutraceutical interventions on cognitive functioning in the elderly. Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research 8(2–3):79–87Google Scholar
  20. Reitz C, Luchsinger J, Tang MX, Manly J, Mayeux R (2005) Impact of plasma lipids and time on memory performance in healthy elderly without dementia. Neurology 64(8):1378–1383.  https://doi.org/10.1212/01.WNL.0000158274.31318.3C CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Stough, C. K., Pase, M. P., Cropley, V., Myers, S., Nolidin, K., King, R., . . . Scholey, A. B. (2012a). A randomized controlled trial investigating the effect of Pycnogenol and Bacopa CDRI08 herbal medicines on cognitive, cardiovascular, and biochemical functioning in cognitively healthy elderly people: the Australian Research Council longevity intervention (ARCLI) study protocol (ANZCTR12611000487910). Nutr J, 11(1).  https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-11
  22. Stough, C. K., Pase, M. P., Cropley, V., Myers, S., Nolidin, K., King, R., . . . Scholey, A. B. (2012b). A randomized controlled trial investigating the effect of Pycnogenol and BacopaCDRI08 herbal medicines on cognitive, cardiovascular, and biochemical functioning in cognitively healthy elderly people: the Australian Research Council longevity intervention (ARCLI) study protocol (ANZCTR12611000487910). Nutr J, 11(1), 1–9.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-11 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Teunissen, C. E., De Vente, J., Von Bergmann, K., Bosma, H., Van Boxtel, M. P. J., De Bruijn, C., . . . Lütjohann, D. (2003). Serum cholesterol, precursors and metabolites and cognitive performance in an aging population. Neurobiol Aging, 24(1), 147–155.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00061-1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. van den Berg E, Kloppenborg RP, Kessels RPC, Kappelle LJ, Biessels GJ (2009) Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity: a systematic comparison of their impact on cognition. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol basis Dis 1792(5):470–481.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2008.09.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) San Antonio, TX: Psychological CorporationGoogle Scholar
  26. Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, Lum O, Huang V, Adey M, Leirer VO (1982) Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. J Psychiatr Res 17(1):37–49.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3956(82)90033-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhang J, Muldoon MF, McKeown RE (2004) Serum cholesterol concentrations are associated with visuomotor speed in men: findings from the third National Health and nutrition examination survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr 80(2):291–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Human PsychopharmacologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

Personalised recommendations