A leading hypothesis on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the mis-metabolism of amyloid precursor protein. This mis-metabolism causes the 42-amino acid form of A beta(Abeta42) to form oligomers that in turn start a chain of events leading to the accumulation of amyloid plaques. Vascular factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes as well as the inheritance of the epsilon4 allele of the ApoE gene are risk factors for AD. These risks are thought to promote the production of beta-amyloid (Abeta). An association between cholesterol and the development of AD was suggested in 1994 and since then, research has confirmed a link between cholesterol and the development of AD. A high cholesterol level in mid-life is a risk for AD and statins i.e. cholesterol-lowering drugs, reduce this risk. Statins inhibit enzymes involved in the endogenous synthesis of cholesterol and evidence is mounting that they also affect enzymes in Abeta metabolism i.e. beta-secretase. This normalises the breakdown of the precursor of Abeta, amyloid precursor protein, thereby promoting the nonamyloidogenic pathway. This review focusses on the link between cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease.