Oral Bacteria As Alzheimer’s Cause

Harmful enzymes destroy brain’s nerve cells in 96% of cases

Mature woman flossing teeth

Mature woman flossing teeth

Bacteria in your mouth are crawling up your skull into your brain and causing Alzheimer’s disease—and researchers at the University of Bergen say they’ve got the scientific DNA receipts.

Good oral hygiene does more than prevent dental caries, they say in their article. Gum disease (gingivitis) holds a decisive position in whether a person develops Alzheimer’s.

The bacteria produces a protein that destroys nerve cells in the brain. This leads to memory loss and, then, Alzheimer´s. Once in the brain, these bacteria discharge harmful enzymes that destroy the nerve cells in the brain.

Read: Plaque In Brain

Mydel’s collaborators have DNA evidence from human brains. They did a forensic examination of 53 persons with Alzheimer’s and discovered the enzyme in 96% of the cases.

“We discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain,” says Piotr Mydel at Broegelmanns Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Read: 9 Alzheimer's Meds Of The Future

Mydel points out that the bacteria is not causing Alzheimer´s alone, but the presence of these bacteria raise the risk for developing the disease substantially and are also implicated in a more rapid progression of the disease. However, the good news is that this study shows that there are some things you can do yourself to slow down Alzheimer’s.

Brush Teeth for Brain Health

“Brush your teeth and use floss,” says Mydel.

If you have established gingivitis and Alzheimer’s in your family, clean your teeth religiously and go to your dentist regularly.

Read: Smoking Gum

A possible new approach for attacking Alzheimer’s disease is on the horizon.

“We have managed to develop a drug that blocks the harmful enzymes from the bacteria, postponing the development of Alzheimer’s. We are planning to test this drug later this year.”

Reference Stephen S. Dominy, Casey Lynch, Florian Ermini, Malgorzata Benedyk, Agata Marczyk, Andrei Konradi, Mai Nguyen, Ursula Haditsch, Debasish Raha, Christina Griffin, Leslie J. Holsinger, Shirin Arastu-Kapur, Samer Kaba, Alexander Lee, Mark I. Ryder, Barbara Potempa, Piotr Mydel, Annelie Hellvard, Karina Adamowicz, Hatice Hasturk, Glenn D. Walker, Eric C. Reynolds, Richard L. M. Faull, Maurice A. Curtis, Mike Dragunow, Jan Potempa. Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. Science Advances, 2019; 5 (1): eaau3333 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3333
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