Looking at the link between your teeth and Alzheimer’s disease

If you needed a better reason to brush, floss, and visit the dentist, this is it.

CLEVELAND — Several studies now link bacteria associated with periodontal disease to Alzheimer's disease.

New research from the Forsyth Institute links plaque on teeth to amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers have found that oral bacteria can travel from the mouth to the brain, and that gum disease causes changes in brain cells that protect the brain from amyloid plaques.

Another analysis from the National Institute on Aging suggests that bacteria that cause chronic inflammation, such as gum disease, are linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

“When people start to become more forgetful, especially when their independence starts to suffer, forgetfulness seems to be the first line of defense. But for vascular, for example, you suddenly have Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital Geriatrics Director Dr Catherine Rogers said: “Patients have progressively lost their independence and now require more help. ”

There are also updates on new drugs approved last week to treat early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The Ahead Study, a clinical trial investigating Lecanemab or Leqembi, is currently investigating whether the drug can be effective in delaying or preventing Alzheimer's disease if started before any symptoms appear.

The study is currently enrolling people under the age of 55 who are at risk for Alzheimer's disease, and Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are participating sites.

Cleveland Clinic Louruvo Center for Brain Health

  • Tabitha Yates: YATEST2@ccf.org
  • 216-442-3810
  • 1950 E 89th St, Cleveland, OH 44106

University Hospital Neurology and Neurosurgery Research

  • Susie Sami: susie.sami@UHhospitals.org
  • 216-464-6467
  • 3619 Park E Beachwood Dr, Ohio 44122
A new study links gum disease to Alzheimer's disease.  Monica Robbins has the latest.

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