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We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to sto

PostPosted: March 19th, 2019, 12:20 am
by BadgerJelly
We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191814-we-may-finally-know-what-causes-alzheimers-and-how-to-stop-it/

AFTER decades of disappointment, we may have a new lead on fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Compelling evidence that the condition is caused by a bacterium involved in gum disease could prove a game-changer in tackling one of medicine’s biggest mysteries, and lead to effective treatments or even a vaccine.


The team also found genetic material from P. gingivalis in the cerebral cortex – a region involved in conceptual thinking – in all three Alzheimer’s brains they looked for it in.

“This is the first report showing P. gingivalis DNA in human brains, and the associated gingipains co-localising with plaques,” says Sim Singhrao at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, who wasn’t involved in the study. Her team has previously found that P. gingivalis actively invades the brains of mice with gum infections.

When Lynch and her colleagues looked at brain samples from people without Alzheimer’s, they saw that some had P. gingivalis and protein accumulations, but at low levels. We already know that amyloid and tau can accumulate in the brain for 10 or 20 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms begin. This, says the team, shows that P. gingivalis doesn’t get into the brain as a result of Alzheimer’s – but could be the cause.