Published: Mon, January 28, 2019
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Bacteria in the mouth can cause Alzheimer's disease

Bacteria in the mouth can cause Alzheimer's disease

'The upcoming clinical trial will be a crucial test to see if this can be a potential treatment for Alzheimer's'. There could even be a vaccine.

One way to do that is to attend a Dementia Friendly training event like the one I will be hosting in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Society at the Age UK Roundhouse in Ashington on Friday, February 8, at 11.30am. As populations have aged, dementia has skyrocketed to become the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide.

In addition to the Porphyromonas gingivalis, the researchers found toxic enzymes produced by the bacteria called gingipains in the neurons of patients with Alzheimer's.

But research in recent years has revealed that people can have amyloid plaques without having dementia. This process is very high in Alzheimer's patients. They went on to find that a newly developed drug could clear the bacterial infection and seemed to stop brain deterioration.

"Despite significant funding and the best efforts of academic, industry, and advocacy communities, clinical progress against Alzheimer's has been frustratingly slow", said Casey Lynch, Cortexyme's co-founder, chief executive officer, and an author on the Science Advances paper.

And when they watched P. gingivalis infections play out in mice, it triggered neurodegeneration in the hippocampus, a brain structure central to memory. In 2017, it was shown that deliberate infection gum-disease bacteria caused amyloid pathology and cognitive decline in a transgenic mouse model. "He points out that while most of the data presented in the Cortexyme study supported their hypothesis, gingipains weren't found in all of the Alzheimer's-affected brains, 'so whilst it may be a cause, the data don't exactly support it being the only cause".

"Information from our study can help guide how we assess living Hispanic patients who may have Alzheimer's, to more accurately detect the disease in its early stages", says Helen Jarrett, chair of Alzheimer's research at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

'We've known that sleep problems and Alzheimer's are associated in part via a different Alzheimer's protein - amyloid beta - but this study shows that sleep disruption causes the damaging protein tau to increase rapidly and to spread over time. They found 96 percent of 53 patients with the condition had RgpB, or a form of the gingipains enzyme known as arginine-gingipain. Billions of research dollars have gone towards finding a treatment that destroys these mind-robbing masses.

Sleep deprivation raised the level of the protein tau, the main protein that contributes to Alzheimer's development, according to a study published Thursday in Science.

However, he welcomed the avenue of inquiry as no new drugs targeting Alzheimer's have been released for over 15 years.

Saliva samples from 10 patients with suspected Alzheimer's all proved positive for the P. gingivalis gene.

Professor Colin Masters AO from the Florey Institute said, "The blood test accurately predicted when members of a family with inherited Alzheimer's disease would begin to show symptoms". Researchers measured how their NfL levels changed, through blood samples, brain imaging and cognitive tests, about every two and a half years over a period of seven years (the study is still ongoing). They hope to conduct a Phase 2 trial to further test out their drug soon. The authors suggest that they are in fact seeing preclinical Alzheimer's showing up in the controls, and that this could be a diagnostic marker all by itself.

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