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Gum Disease Bacteria Found in Alzheimer's Patients

Researches studied dead and living patients with diagnosed and suspected Alzheimer's and found bacteria associated with chronic gum disease in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.


The study adds to evidence of a link between gum disease and dementia, but it's still not clear if gum disease bacteria actually trigger Alzheimer's, said scientists not involved in the study of amyloid beta, a component of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's. Further tests on mice showed that drugs that block the toxic proteins produced by the bacteria stopped brain degeneration.


Previous studies linking gum disease with dementia include one published last year that found that people with chronic gum disease for 10 years or more had a 70 percent higher risk of Alzheimer's than those without gum disease.

The study adds to evidence of a link between gum disease and dementia, but it's still not clear if gum disease bacteria actually trigger Alzheimer's, said scientists not involved in the study.

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