Linking lipids to Alzheimer's disease: cholesterol and beyond

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 May;12(5):284-96. doi: 10.1038/nrn3012. Epub 2011 Mar 30.


Lipid-mediated signalling regulates a plethora of physiological processes, including crucial aspects of brain function. In addition, dysregulation of lipid pathways has been implicated in a growing number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although much attention has been given to the link between cholesterol and AD pathogenesis, growing evidence suggests that other lipids, such as phosphoinositides and phosphatidic acid, have an important role. Regulators of lipid metabolism (for example, statins) are a highly successful class of marketed drugs, and exploration of lipid dysregulation in AD and identification of novel therapeutic agents acting through relevant lipid pathways offers new and effective options for the treatment of this devastating disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipids*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol