Brush your teeth to postpone Alzheimer’s, suggests researchers, who discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain, and produces a protein that destroys nerve cells, which may in turn lead to loss of memory and ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease.

The title of the post is a copy and paste from the title, second and third paragraphs of the linked academic press release here:

Brush your teeth – Postpone Alzheimer´s

“We discovered DNA-based proof that the bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain,” says researcher Piotr Mydel at Broegelmanns Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen (UiB).

The bacteria produces a protein that destroys nerve cells in the brain, which in turn leads to loss of memory and ultimately, Alzheimer´s.

Journal Reference:

Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors

BY STEPHEN S. DOMINY, CASEY LYNCH, FLORIAN ERMINI, MALGORZATA BENEDYK, AGATA MARCZYK, ANDREI KONRADI, MAI NGUYEN, URSULA HADITSCH, DEBASISH RAHA, CHRISTINA GRIFFIN, LESLIE J. HOLSINGER, SHIRIN ARASTU-KAPUR, SAMER KABA, ALEXANDER LEE, MARK I. RYDER, BARBARA POTEMPA, PIOTR MYDEL, ANNELIE HELLVARD, KARINA ADAMOWICZ, HATICE HASTURK, GLENN D. WALKER, ERIC C. REYNOLDS, RICHARD L. M. FAULL, MAURICE A. CURTIS, MIKE DRAGUNOW, JAN POTEMPA

Science Advances 2019: Vol. 5, no. 1, eaau3333

Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau3333

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3333

Abstract

Porphyromonas gingivalis, the keystone pathogen in chronic periodontitis, was identified in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Toxic proteases from the bacterium called gingipains were also identified in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, and levels correlated with tau and ubiquitin pathology. Oral P. gingivalis infection in mice resulted in brain colonization and increased production of Aβ1–42, a component of amyloid plaques. Further, gingipains were neurotoxic in vivo and in vitro, exerting detrimental effects on tau, a protein needed for normal neuronal function. To block this neurotoxicity, we designed and synthesized small-molecule inhibitors targeting gingipains. Gingipain inhibition reduced the bacterial load of an established P. gingivalis brain infection, blocked Aβ1–42 production, reduced neuroinflammation, and rescued neurons in the hippocampus. These data suggest that gingipain inhibitors could be valuable for treating P. gingivalis brain colonization and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.

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