Alzheimer’s disease: the beginning of the end

What is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease?
Can we prevent Alzheimer’s?

Good oral care and oral hygiene in early age are not only important for oral health but it can also prevent neurological disorder like Alzheimer’s disease which becomes symptomatic in the late 60’s. According to the study published in journal Science Advances, bacteria infecting gum tissues are linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease causes 70% of dementia in the world and irreversibly destroys memory and thinking ability. There is no effective treatment currently existing for Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the research, Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogen causing periodontitis (infection of gum tissue) was observed in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

P. gingivalis releases some proteases called gingipains which is neurotoxic in nature and shows the detrimental effect on tau, a protein necessary for neurological functions.

The test on mice also performed in which mice were infected with P. gingivalis and brain colonisation of bacteria was observed with the formation of amyloid plaques. This result shows P. gingivalis can cross the blood-brain barrier and able to colonise in spinal fluid.

Pharmaceutical firms are testing drugs to block this neurotoxicity which can target and inhibit gingipains. Data provided by scientists suggests that neuro degradation in Alzheimer’s disease could be treated by these gingipain inhibitors.

This research could be unfolding for the termination of Alzheimer’s disease.

Science Advances 23 Jan 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 1, eaau3333
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3333

Article by Mrigshira Tripathi

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