Bacteria in the mouth can cause Alzheimer's disease

Credit Wikimedia Commons

COR388 showed positive trends across several cognitive tests in patients suffering from AD, and Cortexyme plans to initiate a Phase 2 and 3 clinical trial of COR388 in mild to moderate AD in 2019.

"Often times the big confusion is the difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia", Ligeza said. As populations have aged, dementia has skyrocketed to become the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide.

"Maintaining good dental health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and while we don't yet fully know the extent to which it can affect our dementia risk, the presence of a single type of bacteria is extremely unlikely to be the only cause of the condition". Clumps of a brain protein known as amyloid plaques are a hallmark sign of the disease. "We want to break the stigma by not just talking about it, but by letting people know that there is help out there, you're not the only one to have it and it's definitely ok to talk about it".

"Alzheimer's disease starts at least a decade, maybe even 20 years, before we have any symptoms", said Jucker, who is also board director at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen.

It was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances and is free to read online.

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

"This is the first report showing P. gingivalis DNA in human brains, and the associated gingipains, co-lococalising with plaques", says Sim Singhrao, of the University of Central Lancashire, UK. They found toxins called gingipains produced by P. gingivalis in 96% of the samples and the bacterium itself in three samples. He and Lynch note that a study published in PLOS ONE in October 2018 by a team at the University of IL in Chicago also found that an oral infection with P. gingivalis can cause amyloid buildup and neurodegeneration in the brains of mice.

A poor night's sleep has always been linked with Alzheimer's disease which affects more than 500,000 people in Britain and 5.7 million Americans.

"That is why we have created highly potent, brain penetrant, anti-gingipain small molecules to target P. gingivalis and gingipians in the brain", he said. The drug cleared the infection from the animals' brains and reduced β-amyloid production and neurodegeneration.

The team even managed to find a way to kill P. gingivalis in the brains of mice.

"The impact of infectious agents previously associated with the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease, but a causal relationship is still inconclusive".

They also ran an experiment where cultured cells grown in the laboratory were infected with P. gingivalis to see what effect that had on tau protein, a protein that forms tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

The Mayo Clinic describes Alzheimer's disease as a progressive disorder that attacks the brain, causing a "continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills". But "Alzheimer's strikes people who accumulate gingipains and damage in the brain fast enough to develop symptoms during their lifetimes", she says. Based on these findings, we believe that P. gingivalis is the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, and the gingipains are the main drivers of Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Cortexyme reported in October that the best of their gingipain blockers had passed initial safety tests in people, and entered the brain.

The gene was also found in cerebro-spinal fluid from seven out of 10 living patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

According to a new study, bleeding gums and sensitive teeth are not only painful and annoying, but they are also having a never-before-seen connection with the Alzheimer's Disease.

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