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Gum disease linked to Alzheimer's

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Long-term gum disease could be a trigger for Alzheimer's, new research suggests. The bacteria from poor teeth and gums help form the plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's.

It's already known that gum disease—also known as periodontal disease—can cause cognitive problems, but researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered that it could also be causing Alzheimer's.

 

Periodontal bacteria help form the senile plaques that are associated with Alzheimer's and which cause its distressing symptoms. The effects of the bacteria from bleeding gums and poor teeth almost exactly mirror the brain inflammation seen in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers say.

The DNA from the bacteria was found in the brain tissue of wild mice they tested and demonstrates that bacteria from the mouth can make their way to the brain.

(Source: PLOS ONE, 2018; 13(10); e0204941)

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