Gum disease may be the bacterial culprit behind Alzheimer’s

31 January 2019

A new paper from the University of Louisville suggests that the pathogen that gives rise to chronic periodontitis and the neurodegenerative disease may be linked.  

It is the latest in a long line of scientific studies that have reframed Alzheimer’s Disease as an infection rather than as a disease, although the exact mechanisms which give rise to the condition have yet to be isolated. 

One lead contender is gum disease, as periodontitis is more commonly known, with the senior author behind the latest study, microbiologist Jan Potempa reporting Porphyromonas gingivalis, the pathogen behind periodontitis (aka gum disease) has been discovered in the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients. 

While the link itself isn’t necessarily a new one, the new evidence that lends weight to it is strong notes first-time author and pharmaceutical start-up Cortexyme. 

"Infectious agents have been implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease before, but the evidence of causation hasn't been convincing. 

"Now, for the first time, we have solid evidence connecting the intracellular, Gram-negative pathogen, P. gingivalis, and Alzheimer's pathogenesis." 

For more on this study, go to “The Cause of Alzheimer's Could Be Coming From Inside Your Mouth, Study Claims.”

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