High Cholesterol and Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Animation

High Cholesterol and Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Animation


cholesterol is an essential component of
all animal cells but too much cholesterol in the blood is a high risk
factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes cholesterol
levels are measured in a blood test known as lipid panel or lipid profile
this test typically reports total cholesterol low-density lipoprotein LDL
also known as bad cholesterol high density lipoprotein HDL or good
cholesterol and triglycerides a desirable profile include less than 200
milligrams per deciliter of total cholesterol with less than 100
milligrams per deciliter of LDL and more than 40 milligrams per deciliter of HDL
the body obtains cholesterol in two ways from foods of animal origin and its own
endogenous production usually cholesterol levels are kept in check by
negative feedback control low levels of intracellular cholesterol induce its own
production while high cholesterol levels inhibit it it is noteworthy however that
this regulation applies to the concentration of cholesterol inside the
cells not in the blood the high prevalence of high blood cholesterol
worldwide suggests that this control mechanism is not sufficient to maintain
healthy cholesterol levels when challenged by a number of factors
including poor diet lack of exercise smoking obesity diabetes and aging in
addition some people have an inherited condition called familial
hypercholesterolemia FH that causes very high levels of LDL the bad cholesterol
at a young age left untreated patients are likely to have heart attacks in
their 40s or 50s LDL is basically a vehicle that transports cholesterol from
the liver to peripheral cells so it can be used in the cell membrane peripheral
cells take up LDL by endocytosis using their LDL receptor which binds to a
protein ligand on LDL surface most cases of FH are caused by mutation in the LDL
receptor gene a defective LDL receptor reduces LDL
uptake leaving more LDL in the circulation while the cells are
deficient in cholesterol low intracellular cholesterol levels induce
further production of endogenous cholesterol in the liver eventually
causing even higher levels of circulating LDL one copy of the mutated
gene is enough to cause high cholesterol the condition is therefore inherited in
an autosomal dominant manner a parent with an altered gene has a 50% chance of
passing it to a child if both parents have FH each child
has a 50% chance of having FH a 25% chance of not having FH and a 25% chance
of having two copies of the mutated gene called homozygous FH without treatment
homozygous FH patients may have heart attacks in their twenties and may not
survive past the age of thirty treatments for high cholesterol must
start with lifestyle changes such as healthy diets and physical exercise on
top of that some people may require medications to lower cholesterol these
drugs inhibit cholesterol production intestinal absorption or reabsorption in
the form of bile. Homozygous FH patients usually require more drastic treatment
measures which include a procedure called LDL apheresis in this procedure
the blood is diverted through a filtration device where LDL is removed
before the remaining plasma and blood cells are returned to the body the
procedure is repeated weekly or bi-weekly

3 Replies to “High Cholesterol and Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Animation

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