Researchers dig into link between oral bacteria, Alzheimer's

Dentists

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A prevalent dental bacteria is being investigated by neurologists who believe it could be linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to WALB.

Responsible for periodontal disease, bacteria P. gingivalis' potential link to Alzheimer's is now being researched by neurologist Ronald Schwartz, MD, of Hattiesburg (Miss.) Clinic.

Researchers found P. gingivalis DNA embedded in spinal fluid and amyloid plaque in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's, Dr. Schwartz told WALB. Researchers hypothesize that, over time, the bacteria releases toxic proteins that affect the brain, Dr. Schwartz said to WALB, and could be more toxic in some people than others.

Studying the association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's could help researchers identify people at risk earlier, Dr. Schwartz told WALB.

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