Cholesterol, oxidative stress, and Alzheimer's disease: Expanding the horizons of pathogenesis

Miguel A. Pappolla, Mark A. Smith, Tara Bryant-Thomas, Nicolas Bazan, Suzana Petanceska, George Perry, Leon J. Thal, Mary Sano, Lorenzo M. Refolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Recent epidemiological, clinical, and experimental data suggest that cholesterol may play a role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have recently shown that cholesterolemia has a profound effect in the development and modulation of amyloid pathology in a transgenic model of AD. This review summarizes recent advancements in our understanding of the potential role of cholesterol and the amyloid β protein in initiating the generation of free radicals and points out their role in a chain of events that causes damage of essential macromolecules in the central nervous system and culminates in neuronal dysfunction and loss. Experimental data links cholesterol and oxidative stress with some neurodegenerative aspects of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β peptide
  • Cholesterol
  • Free radicals
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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