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Mild cognitive impairment associates with concurrent decreases in serum cholesterol and cholesterol-related lipoprotein subclasses


Background and objective

Accumulating evidence suggests that serum lipids are associated with cognitive decline and dementias. However, majority of the existing information concerns only serum total cholesterol (TC) and data at the level of lipoprotein fractions and subclasses is limited. The aim of this study was to explore the levels and trends of main cholesterol and triglyceride measures and eight lipoprotein subclasses during normal aging and the development of mild cognitive impairment by following a group of elderly for six years.




City of Kuopio, Finland.


45 elderly individuals of which 20 developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI) during the follow-up.


On each visit participants underwent an extensive neuropsychological and clinical assessment. Lipoprotein levels were measured via 1H NMR from native serum samples.


Serum cholesterol and many primarily cholesterol-associated lipoprotein measures clearly decreased in MCI while the trends were increasing for those elderly people who maintained normal cognition.


These findings suggest that a decreasing trend in serum cholesterol measures in elderly individuals may suffice as an indication for more detailed inspection for potential signs of cognitive decline.

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Correspondence to Mika Ala-Korpela.

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Tukiainen, T., Jylänki, P., Mäkinen, V.P. et al. Mild cognitive impairment associates with concurrent decreases in serum cholesterol and cholesterol-related lipoprotein subclasses. J Nutr Health Aging 16, 631–635 (2012).

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Key words

  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cholesterol
  • triglyceride
  • lipoprotein