September 17, 2013
With the number of older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease skyrocketing (the WHO predicts that dementia cases will triple by 2050), we are wanting to know, more than ever, what the cause of this disease could be. Recent research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease may stem from certain oral bacteria. researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in England studied Alzheimer’s patients and found that four out of ten brain tissue samples contained Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium associated with gum disease. Those subjects who were free of the disease did not show signs of the bacterium on their brain tissue. These results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and suggest that bacteria can travel from the mouth to the brain and other parts of the body, and that dementia may be the result of oral health issues. The researchers note that this finding only shows association, not causation, and that they are seeking to do more research in the future.