At present there are about 250.000 patients with dementia in the Netherlands. Sixty to 70% of these are diagnosed as patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Considering the relative increase in the number of elderly people the prevalence of AD will only increase further.
One hundred years after the first description of AD the underlying molecular mechanisms that finally result in the loss of higher cognitive functions still remain to be clarified. At present there is no cure.
Accumulating evidence indicates a link between an aberrant brain cholesterol metabolism and AD. Therefore, modulation of cerebral cholesterol metabolism may be a possible novel strategy in the treatment of the disease. In the present paper the role of cholesterol in AD and the possibilities to use it as a target for treatment will be addressed.
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