The central nervous system (CNS) is the most cholesterol-rich organ in mammals.
Cholesterol homeostasis is essential for proper brain functioning and dysregulation of
cholesterol metabolism can lead to neurological problems. Multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) are examples of neurological diseases that are characterized by a disturbed
cholesterol metabolism. Phytosterols (PS) are plant-derived components that structurally
and functionally resemble cholesterol. PS are known for their cholesterol-lowering
properties. Due to their ability to reach the brain, researchers have started to investigate the
physiological role of PS in the CNS. In this review, the metabolism and function of PS in
the diseased and healthy CNS are discussed.
Keywords: Phytosterols, cholesterol, central nervous system, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, add-on therapy.
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