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Alzheimers

Is Bad Oral Hygiene Connected with Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s a neuronal disease that progressively forms plaques and tangles to healthy brain cells and eventually dies. This unfortunate disease affects 47 million people worldwide and there is currently no cure. However, research findings have presented that there is hope.

A new study in the Journal Science Advances found a correlation between the high amounts of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalism, and the effect on brain deterioration. This bacteria is associated with gum disease and researchers found toxic enzymes produced by it.

Experiments were done on mice that showed early- stage Amnesia had a significantly higher infection of P.gingivalis and amyloid plaques in their brains compared to normal brains. Note that this evidence is only a lead of how gum disease and Alzheimer’s are correlated, but not a matter of causation.

Photo by Amauri Acosta Montiel on Unsplash

This is the first time in research that showed these enzymes can kill neurons, and now there is clinical research ongoing to develop a drug that could clear this bacterial infection. However, there are multiple other factors such as genetics and lifestyle that need to be considered before confirming the true diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

In other words, there is still ambiguity on knowing whether gum disease increases the risk of Alzheimer’s or if people with dementia incur gum disease because of poor oral care. Hopefully, the discovery of a new therapy could one day be the cure to treat humans as the brain and human bacterium plays a central role in development.  

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A-Z

The 7 Phases to Memory Loss

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A major fear that comes with aging is not only the wrinkles or back pains but also the neurodegenerative disease which leads to forgetting of events or loss of memory. Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative disease occurs in over 30 million people in the US and is most prominent in the older age group. This is the leading cause of 70% cases of dementia wherein the primary symptom is short-term memory loss. Other problems such as mood swings and language difficulties are also commonly associated with this disease. Currently, there exist treatments only to alleviate the symptoms, hence further in-depth research is required for finding a cure for this disease

This disorder is characterized by the loss of neurons and synapses. It’s due to the protein misfolding, aggregation of tau protein, and plaque accumulation. MRI scans show degeneration of the temporal and parietal lobe and specific regions that contribute to mental impairment. Epidemiological studies have shown that about 5% of cases are due to genetic makeup, and women are attributed at a higher risk than men. Moreover, the risk in the United States is 26% more than other populations.

Phases of Alzheimer’s

There are seven phases associated with this disease revolving around a progressive cognitive and functional impairment process. The first symptom starts appearing at the age of eight years, through the patient’s short-term memory loss. This chronic disease progressively worsens, and eventually, subjects will be unable to perform daily activities depending on the severity of their case. The activities mildly decline at each phase until it reaches stages 5-7 where it becomes incredibly severe. He or she may be resistant to caregiving, have urinary incontinence, or delusional symptoms. The cause of death is usually due to an infection of pneumonia or pressure ulcers, but not directly from the disease itself. About 2 million people lost their lives every year mainly due to the late stage of this disease associated with loss of muscle mass and mobility.

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