Brush your teeth to retain memory

June 17, 2019

Brushing teeth serves more than good oral hygiene, as researchers from the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway have found that gingivitis (gum disease) is a causative factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers previously discovered a link that bacteria causing gingivitis can travel from the mouth to the brain, and now, there is DNA-based proof of the process. It is also clear that the bacteria produce harmful enzymes that destroy nerve cells in the brain, which leads to memory loss and ultimately, Alzheimer´s.

Piotr Mydel at UiB’s Broegelmanns Research Laboratory points out that the bacteria itself does not cause Alzheimer´s, but their presence substantially increases the risk of a more rapid progression of the disease. This comes after Mydel examined 53 patients with Alzheimer´s – the enzymes were discovered in 96% of the cases.

In trying to tackle the problem, the researchers have developed a prototype drug that blocks the harmful enzymes from the bacteria, thus postponing the development of Alzheimer´s. The drug will go into testing later in 2019.

Meanwhile, self-care goes a long way in slowing down Alzheimer’s: brush your teeth, floss and visit your dentist regularly. These are especially important if you have gingivitis and Alzheimer´s in your family.


Category: Education, Features

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