How "Good Cholesterol" May Help in Alzheimer's Disease

Cheryl Wellington, PhD University of British Columbia


This project will examine the levels and function of a subclass of high density lipoproteins that contain peripherally expressed apolipoprotein E in blood samples from healthy and Alzheimer's Disease.The field of Alzheimer's Disease biomarkers includes measures of amyloid, tau and neurodegeneration, but lacks markers of vascular contributions to Alzheimer's Disease. Good cholesterol, currently measured as HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), may be one such marker. There are now assays to measure apoE-containing HDL particles that are better than HDL-C to predict heart disease. In Aim1 we will evaluate how these newer HDL tests associate with features of Alzheimer's Disease. In Aim 2, we will use innovative engineered models of the human cerebral vessel to understand apoE-HDL functions.

Project Details

Coupling state-of-the-art assays of HDL composition with sophisticated measured of HDL's effects on human cerebrovascular cells is a highly innovative translational approach used throughout our study. One foreseeable benefit is a new way to measure HDL in patient plasma as a potential new vascular biomarker for Alzheimer's Disease. Another potential benefit is that our study may provide data to justify new clinical trials that leverage HDL drugs being developed for cardiovascular disease toward being studies in Alzheimer's Disease.