Several articles have suggested that low total cholesterol levels are linked to changes in behavior; men with low cholesterol levels are associated with higher rates of suicide within 6 years of measurement,1 and lowering the cholesterol levels therapeutically by diets or drugs may lead to a rise in violent deaths.2 One explanation for these somewhat disturbing findings is that a low plasma cholesterol level leads to modifications of brain cholesterol concentration that, in turn, alter central nervous function.3 Recent findings are highly contradictory, some speaking for4-6 and some strongly against7 a relationship between blood lipid levels and psychologic variables. In this situation, a clinical study with a lipidlowering agent may lead further than epidemiologic evidence. We have undertaken a small pilot study quantifying psychologic variables in healthy volunteers during and after treatment with a fibrate.
Nine healthy individuals gave informed consent to participate (six men
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