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Periodontal disease bacteria may kickstart Alzheimer’s

Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, US researchers have found.


A recent study by a team from the University of Illinois, Chicago—and published in PLOS ONE—suggests that periodontal disease may be an initiator of Alzheimer’s, which currently has no treatment or cure.

“Other studies have demonstrated a close association between periodontitis and cognitive impairment, but this is the first study to show that exposure to the periodontal bacteria results in the formation of senile plaques that accelerate the development of neuropathology found in Alzheimer’s patients,” Dr Keiko Watanabe, professor of periodontics at the UIC College of Dentistry, said.

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