Objective. Drawing upon the most recent literature the authors discuss the relations between cholesterol metabolism and dementia and the data suggesting the potential usefulness of statins in the prevention ofAlzheimer 's disease.
Review. The ageing of contemporary societies means that the health problems of old age will be more and more prevalent in the next few decades. It has been estimated that the number of cases of Alzheimer 's disease world-wide will increase fourfold by 2047. If the emergence of symptoms could be delayed by five years, the increase in morbidity rate would be reduced by one half. Drugs currently registered as treatments for Alzheimer 's mainly ensure symptomatic relief and symptom reduction.
Conclusions. Research efforts are currentlyfocused on the search for treatments which will prevent or delay symptom development. Several groups of compounds which may satisfy these expectations have been intensely studied in recent years. These include: non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, oestrogens, Vitamin E and lipid concentration reducers.