A recent analysis led by NIA scientists suggests that bacteria that cause gum disease are also associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, especially vascular dementia. The results were reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. This supports a 2013 study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry. The2013 UCLS was the first to pinpoint a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain. In 2013, Researchers looked at donated brain samples of 10 people without dementia and 10 people with dementia. They found the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of four of those with dementia.
Previous lab studies have suggested that this is one mechanism influencing the cascade of events that leads to dementia, but large studies with people have not been conducted until recently to confirm this relationship. The 2020 NIA Intramural Research Program team examined whether gum disease and infections with oral bacteria were linked to dementia diagnoses and deaths using restricted data linkages with Medicare records and the National Death Index. The team compared different age groups at baseline, with up to 26 years of follow-up, for more than 6,000 participants.
The analysis revealed that older adults with signs of gum disease and mouth infections at baseline were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s during the study period.
The findings suggest that oral infection preceded the diagnosis of the patient’s dementia. This indicates that maintaining one’s oral hygiene may be a factor in reducing the incidence of dementia. Call now for your hygiene check up.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Bock, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
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 https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/large-study-links-gum-disease-dementia Beydoun M, et al. Clinical and bacterial markers of periodontitis and their association with incident all-cause and Alzheimer’s disease dementia in a large national survey. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2020;75(1):157-172. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200064.