Dental researchers have discovered that bacteria from a common gum infection causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons. The effects they observed in mice are similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Gum disease, or periodontitis, which destroys the gums and tooth-supporting bone, is estimated to occur in roughly 50% of human adults, and is severe in about 10%. This number increases significantly in seniors. The study found that chronic exposure to periodontal bacteria led to much higher accumulations of senile plaques in the mice’s brain tissue, demonstrating the movement of bacteria from the mouth to the brain. The authors suggest that oral hygiene is an important predictor of disease, and that developing effective treatments for Alzheimer’s requires an understanding of the causes and risk factors.
SOURCE: PLOS ONE, October 2018
DATE Retrieved: October 4, 2018