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Oxysterols are important for cholesterol homeostasis in the brain and may be affected in neurodegenerative diseases. The levels of the brain-derived oxysterol 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-OH) have been reported to be markedly reduced in the circulation of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) (Lee et al., Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11 (2009) 407–420). The finding is surprising in view of the fact that other neurodegenerative diseases are associated with relatively modest effects on the circulating levels of 24S-OH. We determined the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of 24S-OH and 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OH) in patients with PD with different disease duration using a highly accurate method based on isotope dilution-mass spectrometry. All the patients had plasma levels of the different oxysterols within the normal range. When analyzing CSF, 10% of the PD patients were found to have levels of 24S-OH above the cut-off level and interestingly there was a significant correlation between levels of 24S-OH in CSF and duration of the disease (r = 0.40, P < 0.05). The CSF level of 27-OH was found to be above the cut-off level in 10% of the patients, indicating a defect blood–brain barrier function. There was no correlation between levels of 27-OH in CSF and duration of the disease. These data indicates that oxysterol levels in CSF may be of value to follow disease progression.
Bjorkhem, I. et al (2013). Oxysterols and Parkinson´s Disease. Evidence that Levels of 24S-Hydroxycholesterol in Cerebrospinal Fluid Correlates with the Duration of the Disease.Neuroscience Letters, Oct 25;555:102-5. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.09.003