Background: There is a huge demand for efficient strategies for maintaining cognitive
wellbeing with age, especially in the context of population aging. Dementia constitutes the main
reason for disability and dependency in the elderly. Identification of potential risk and protective
factors, as well as determinants of conversion from MCI to dementia, is therefore crucial. In case of
Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent dementia syndrome amongst the members of modern societies,
neurodegenerative processes in the brain can begin many years before first clinical symptoms
appear. First functional changes typically mean advanced neuron loss, therefore, the earliest
possible diagnosis is critical for implementation of promising early pharmaceutical interventions.
Objective: The study aimed to discuss the relationships between both circulating and brain cholesterol
with cognition, and explore its potential role in early diagnosis of cognitive disorders.
Methods: Literature review.
Results: The causal role of high cholesterol levels in AD or MCI has not been confirmed. It has
been postulated that plasma levels of 24(S)-OHC can potentially be used as an early biochemical
marker of altered cholesterol homeostasis in the CNS. Some studies brought conflicting results,
finding normal or lowered levels of 24(S)-OHC in dementia patients compared to controls. In spite
of decades of research on the relationship between cholesterol and dementia, so far, no single
trusted indicator of an early cognitive deterioration has been identified.
Conclusion: The current state of knowledge makes the use of cholesterol markers of cognitive decline
in clinical practice impossible