Gum infection could be linked to Alzheimer’s, study says

by Noah Mcgee January 28, 2019, 0:29
Gum infection could be linked to Alzheimer’s, study says

An worldwide group of scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany, have developed a new simple blood test that can predict the risk of having Alzheimer's 16 years before the emergence of symptoms.

A team of scientists from the University of Louisville found P. gingivalis in the brains of deceased people who suffered from Alzheimer's. In these lab experiments, scientists were able to reduce the number of Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in the infected brains, block the production of toxic proteins, and halt degeneration in the brain.

Other research has looked at whether various bacterial, viral, or fungal infections may play a role in Alzheimer's, but there is now not enough evidence to say.

Researchers have linked a gum disease to Alzheimer's in a study.

It's possible that news of the possible link will lead to people spending more time on their dental health than they now do, though: One study found less than one third of Americans floss daily.

In addition, the researchers found that Hispanics with AD showed greater small blood vessel disease in the brain than non-Hispanics with AD, as well as increased amyloid angiopathy, the accumulation of protein fragments in blood vessels associated with AD. Higher levels gingipain were associated with tau and ubiquitin, two other proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer's. The study also finds that in mice, the bacteria trigger brain changes typical of the disease.

An incredible discovery by medical researchers could change the treatment of Alzheimer's disease as we know it, now that a simple blood test could identify the condition over a decade before it sets in. Results showed mouse ISF tau was increased by up to 90% during wakefulness vs sleep and up to 100% during SD; human CSF tau increased over 50% during SD; in tau seeding and spreading model chronic SD increased tau pathology spreading; chemogenetically driven wakefulness in mice significantly increased ISF Aβ and tau.

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The families form the study population of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network (DIAN), an worldwide consortium that is investigating the roots of Alzheimer's disease.

"Infectious agents have been implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease before, but the evidence of causation hasn't been convincing", said Stephen Dominy, M.D., Cortexyme co-founder and lead author on the paper.

The provocative findings are the latest in a wave of research suggesting microbial infections may play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers looked at brain tissue from autopsies of individuals with and without Alzheimer's disease and found a majority of those with the disease had higher levels of an enzyme called gingipains, which is produced by P. gingivalis. Chief executive Casey Lynch said: 'This study is an important breakthrough in understanding how Alzheimer's disease can be triggered and a new path to treatment'.

"The interesting thing about this study is that it suggests that real-life factors such as sleep might affect how fast the disease spreads through the brain", said David Holtz, senior author and head of the Department of Neurology. Madison Hospital is already testing new solutions for patients, like using special pillows as a visual cue to let hospital staff know a patient has Alzheimer's. Bacteria that cause a common yet largely preventable gum infection may also play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

They found P. gingivalis DNA in 7 out of 10 cerebrospinal fluid samples of people with Alzheimer's disease and all 10 matched saliva samples. Later this year the firm will launch a larger trial of the drug, looking for P. gingivalis in spinal fluid, and cognitive improvements, before and after.

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