Very low levels of LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, may be linked with an increased risk for Parkinsonâ€™s disease, a new study suggests.
Researchers compared blood levels of LDL cholesterol in 124 Parkinsonâ€™s patients with a control group of 112 of their healthy spouses. Compared with people in the highest one-quarter in LDL levels, those in the lower 75 percent were two to three and a half times as likely to suffer from Parkinsonâ€™s. There was no association between Parkinsonâ€™s and levels of HDL cholesterol.
Normally, having a low LDL level is a healthy sign. But does this mean that having a higher LDL is actually a good thing? Absolutely not, said Dr. Xuemei Huang, the lead author of the study.
â€œIf a person is healthy with a cholesterol in the middle range, and no family history of heart disease, radically lowering cholesterol may not be necessary,â€ she said. â€œBut at the same time, weâ€™re not urging anyone to change his diet or medication based on this finding.â€ Dr. Huang is a Parkinsonâ€™s expert and a neurologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
The findings, based on retrospective data, could not demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between a low level of LDL and Parkinsonâ€™s, the authors said. The paper was published online Dec. 18 in the journal Movement Disorders.
Men and women in the study who used cholesterol-lowering drugs were about a third as likely to have Parkinsonâ€™s as those who did not use the drugs. This finding led researchers to suggest that testing the effect of statins on neurodegenerative disease with a much larger sample of patients could be useful.
Source:The New York Times