Jan 1, 2014 1:08 PM by NBC News

Keeping cholesterol in check can help your brain

The heart benefits of keeping your cholesterol in check are well known, but now researchers say those positive effects extend to your brain, too.

Researchers at the University of California Davis studied more than 70 elderly adults who were in various stages of dementia or had normal brain health. They found those who had high levels of "good" cholesterol and low levels of "bad" cholesterol had fewer brain plaques.

Brain plaques are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers say unhealthy cholesterol could be directly linked to higher levels of these plaques, just like it increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

The researchers used PET scans to get images of the amyloid plaques.



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