'Compelling' Study Reveals Alzheimer's Is Caused by Gum Disease

Discussion in 'Science, Technology, & Natural Disasters' started by Kaatje, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Kaatje

    Kaatje Well-Known Member

    Scientists believe they've found the secret behind Alzheimer's disease: your gums.

    Researchers from the firm Cortexyme say their latest study reveals that chronic gum disease is the cause of the deadly disease. They identified a specific bacteria called P. gingivalis as the culprit.

    "Bacteria involved in gum disease and other illnesses have been found after death in the brains of people who had Alzheimer's, but until now, it hasn't been clear whether these bacteria caused the disease or simply got in via brain damage caused by the condition," New Scientist reports.

    Researchers discovered that P. gingivalis can invade the brain and inflame brain regions affected by Alzheimer's. Cortexyme found that the bacteria fed on human tissue in 96 percent of the Alzheimer's brain samples they examined.

    The team found that the bacteria destroys "tau" protein in a way that allows it to kill neurons, which causes dementia. People who experienced worse cognitive decline had higher levels of P. gingivalis and its enzymes in their brain.

    P. gingivalis was also found in the spinal fluid of living people with Alzheimer's, suggesting that doctors may now be able to diagnose the disease by testing spinal fluid.

    "When the team gave P. gingivalis gum disease to mice, it led to brain infection, amyloid production, tangles of tau protein, and neural damage in the regions and nerves normally affected by Alzheimer's," New Scientist reports.

    The firm confirmed what many scientists suspected but had yet to prove – gum disease can actually destroy your brain.

    "When science converges from multiple independent laboratories like this, it is very compelling," Casey Lynch of Cortexyme told the paper. "Alzheimer's strikes people who accumulate gingipains and damage in the brain fast enough to develop symptoms during their lifetimes. We believe this is a universal hypothesis of pathogenesis."

    The results of the study are concerning, considering gum disease affects half of all adults age 30 and higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The good news is scientists say they already know how to fight Alzheimer's.

    Cortexyme developed molecules that block enzymes secreted by P. gingivalis. After giving some to lab mice, it lowered brain inflammation, reduced infections, and even saved damaged neurons. The medication has passed initial safety tests on people and even seemed to improve patients with Alzheimer's.

    The firm will launch a larger trial of the drug later this year and plans to test if they can even stop gum disease.

  2. Forgiven1

    Forgiven1 Well-Known Member

    Wow, I guess I'll floss my teeth more often now!
  3. Anewcreationinjesus

    Anewcreationinjesus Well-Known Member

    Am kind of concerned about this myself, my dad had schizophrenia and am very grateful I have not been diagnosed with that myself, am not sure about any link between things like Alzheimers in children with schizophrenic parents. Plus have had problematic gums for years! Well have just brought my concern to the lord ...
  4. Teresa66

    Teresa66 Well-Known Member

    That is interesting! And I agree with Forgiven1. I better get to flossing a bit more than I do now.
  5. ItsNotAboutTheDonkey

    ItsNotAboutTheDonkey Well-Known Member

    Not only am I flossing more, I went and got my teeth cleaned. I confess that I fear mental deterioration more than physical deterioration. There is probably an element of pride in there that needs to be smushed. But if "all it takes" to avoid dementia is flossing, I'm in.
  6. athenasius

    athenasius Well-Known Member

    Dental floss is a great tool for healthy living anyways but one caution I have is the axiom in medical research, and that is this: Correlation is not Causation.

    All that means is that just because one thing occurs WITH another thing, it doesn't always follow that one causes the other or vice versa. Sometimes they happen together because of a third thing.

    For an example, there is a correlation between inflammation, a special type of acne, dandruff, psoriasis, rosacea and sebbhorheic dermatitis. It seems to be caused by a reaction to the Malassezia pittosporum, a kind of little teeny fungal microbe that lives on a lot of people's skin.

    So dermatologists have been treating those conditions with various things that help kill off the Malassezia. In classic acne, there is a bacterial overgrowth as well that is treated by an antibiotic.

    Some people improve, others don't. Because sometimes those conditions AREN'T caused by bacteria or fungi, but the bacteria and fungi are there making it worse because of something else.

    So now there is a third culprit that might get us a little closer to the truth. Everyone has this fungus amungus :lol

    but not everyone has those skin problems.

    Turns out that people with THOSE skin issues, MIGHT have a genetic difference that changes the way their bodies process unsaturated fats like oleic acids found in olive oil and other veg oils. They don't break it down the same, so when they sweat out the oil, their oil glands produce a slightly different body oil, that sends those little fungi nuts with delight, and they multiply excessively causing inflammation.

    Long way to say, the correlation between inflammatory skin problems and malassezia is complicated. Genetics plays a part too.

    Teasing out which came first is rather difficult. Things can definitely be correlated, they occur together, they ARE definitely related, but figuring out the CAUSE is a whole nother ball of wax and it's difficult to figure out.

    But in order to treat something, you have to find that cause and break that connection from cause to effect. And the problem is that correlations come up, that lead down interesting paths that end up leading nowhere. You still have to track them down, but this research is still in the correlation stage.

    But YES, brush and floss your teeth, and visit the dentist regularly for a tooth cleaning. It can save your life in more than just this one way. Every once in a while the dentist will pick up on a mouth or throat cancer in it's early stages. Just like George's optometrist picked up on the brain tumour and sent him off to the specialist for further testing which by God's grace saved his life.
  7. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Administrator Staff Member

    If the information in the OP pans out in subsequent trials, this is GREAT news!!!

    Unfortunately, it will likely be too late for my mother who is now entering the final stage of the disease; but it will be a Godsend to countless others, going forward.
    pixelpusher, Lynn, athenasius and 2 others like this.
  8. LivingForHim

    LivingForHim Well-Known Member

    Prayers for your mother and you.
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan Well-Known Member

    I have no idea whether this is true, but I have read a lot of articles that link poor oral health to heart conditions. But, you always have to ask the question of correlation vs. causation. Just because two things are linked doesn't mean that one causes the other. Perhaps people with early dementia are less likely to maintain proper oral health. Or maybe there IS a causal connection. But just because two conditions are statistically linked doesn't automatically mean one causes the other.

    My dad died recently of Alzheimer's, so I am not saying this lightly. We have tried our best to figure out WHAT WENT WRONG!?! There is no shortage of theories. Hopefully, one day, science will discover the cause and cure this horrible disease.
    caligal, pixelpusher, Lynn and 2 others like this.
  10. Endangered

    Endangered Well-Known Member

    There are a bunch of human ailments that seem to be related to problems in the mouth. Inflammation seems to be the biggest. This is a great reason to make sure you don't let a sore tooth or bad gums go untreated.
    As of right now the exact cause of Alz is unknown but research appears to be closing in on the cause (or causes).
    There is a new eye test that is suppose to show whether or not you have Alz.
    The next year or two may just give us something more concrete than what we have now.
  11. Cindy S.

    Cindy S. Well-Known Member

    I don't remember Ronald Reagan having bad teeth. Who funded the study?
    athenasius and pixelpusher like this.
  12. StormsMom

    StormsMom Well-Known Member

  13. Jan51

    Jan51 Well-Known Member

  14. Cindy S.

    Cindy S. Well-Known Member

    I do think it's related to low fat diet myself.
    Eggs are bad eggs are good oh wait eggs are bad. Lol
    athenasius and cchomeschoolmom like this.
  15. endofdays

    endofdays Well-Known Member

    Eating mushrooms more than twice a week could prevent memory and language problems occurring in the over-60s, research from Singapore suggests.
    A unique antioxidant present in mushrooms could have a protective effect on the brain, the study found.
    athenasius and cchomeschoolmom like this.

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