A new study published in the journal ‘Science Advances’ found that infection of the gums could be a potential risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
The bacterium Porphyromonasgingivalis, known as Pg, causes chronic periodontitis in gum infection, causing chronic inflammation and possible tooth loss, CNN reported.
The same bacteria was also found in 51 of 53 brain autopsies of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research by Dr. Stephen Dominy and Casey Lynch, founders of the pharmaceutical company Cortexyme.
The pharmaceutical company, which focuses on the development of therapies to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease, funded the research.
The team also tested the blocking of the bacteria in mice by injecting small molecules targeted to Pg, to inhibit it and found that it could reduce neurodegeneration in the brain, which shows a new potential way to tackle Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Lynch, his team’s publication “sheds light on an unexpected driver of the pathology of Alzheimer’s, the bacteria commonly associated with chronic gum disease.”
Lynch also added that it also shows a “promising approach” to tackle the disease.