Alzheimer's disease is one of the most insidious conditions a person can be affected by, but a new study showing a link between Alzheimer's disease and gum disease leads us closer to finding the cause and, hopefully, a cure.
Links to Bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis
Porphyromonas gingival (P. gingivalis) is a bacterium in the mouth responsible for chronic periodontitis and has been suspected of having a role in Alzheimer's disease. New research, however, strengthens this link significantly.
"Infectious agents have been implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease before, but the evidence of causation has not been convincing," said Stephen Dominy, MD.
The study, appearing in the journal Advances in science and led by Dominy and Casey Lynch, the founders of the pharmaceutical company Cortexyme, discovered P. gingivalis in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease and may have found a way to block the pathogen, offering hope for a possible treatment option.
P. gingivalis Invades the brain
During the study, the researchers looked at mice infected with P. gingivalis and found that this infection eventually transferred to the brain. They found a corresponding increase in beta-amyloid levels, an important part of plaques that kill brain neurons, a defining feature of Alzheimer's disease.
Another result of bacterial infections is the presence of harmful enzymes that P. gingivalis secrets, called gingipains, in the neurons of patients with Alzheimer's disease. These gums directly correlate with tau levels, the protein required for proper neuron function, and ubiquitin, a protein marker that indicates a protein damaged to the body to disintegrate and be present in beta-amyloid plaques.
Hopes for New Preventive Treatments
"Despite the significant funding and best efforts of the academic, industrial, and advocacy communities, clinical progress against Alzheimer's has been frustratingly slow," Lynch said, but notes that the study "details the promising therapeutic approach Cortexme is taking to handle the COR388 "
The study shows how COR388 developed by Cortexyme is able to break the P. gingivalis which has helped reduce inflammation, reduce or eliminate amyloid beta in the brain and, perhaps more importantly, preserve the neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and that generally deteriorates over time as Alzheimer's disease progresses.
"Now, for the first time," said Dominy, "we have solid evidence linking the intracellular, Gram-negative pathogen,[[[[P. gingivalis]and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, while demonstrating the potential of a class of small molecule therapies to alter the trajectory of the disease. "
Cortexyme plans to move to phase 2 and 3 tests, but this may take a few years into the future, so for now the best thing you can do to prevent Alzheimer's is to ensure proper oral health and prevent the development of chronic diseases. periodontitis.