Causation of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is not well understood. It is necessary to look beyond neuropathology to identify the underlying causes of AD and many other common neurological diseases. Lipid abnormalities are well documented in the preclinical phases of many neurological diseases including AD. Here, we use AD as an example to examine the role of lipid abnormalities as an underlying cause of neurodegeneration. Role of lipids, particularly phospholipids, in the optimal function of the nervous system, impact of the aberrations of phospholipid metabolism on β-amyloid deposition and cholinergic neuronal function, epidemiological evidence on the association of phospholipids with AD, and preliminary data on the possible modulation of risk factors of AD by phospholipids are examined. Implications of these findings on diagnosis and prevention are also discussed.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid hypothesis; Biochemical abnormalities; Cholinergic hypothesis; Neurodegeneration; Phospholipids.
© 2019 The Authors.