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Cholesterol and Mental Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Paul F. Boston
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Leicester
Serdar M. Dursun
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Leicester
Michael A. Reveley
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Leicester

Abstract

Background

Cholesterol plays an important part in cellular structure and function and changes in serum levels may affect neurotransmission in the central nervous system.

Method

A medline literature search was made covering the period 1990–95 with systematic searching of citations from the articles identified. Representative articles were selected, focusing on those aspects which had not been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere, namely suicidal ideation, depression, personality and schizophrenia.

Results

Lowering cholesterol levels have been associated with an increase in violent deaths in cardiovascular primary prevention studies. However, altered cholesterol levels have also been reported in relation to other psychiatric disorders.

Conclusion

There is substantial evidence that serum cholesterol levels may be associated with variations in mental state or personality. Further work is needed to clarify this and to elucidate the mechanisms involved.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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