Treating Alzheimer’s Disease By Treating Gum Disease?

Porphyromonas gingivalis image

Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria (3D illustration) that cause periodontal disease are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

An experimental gum disease medication called atuzaginstat is being studied to see how it may help individuals who have significant gum disease and mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

In a clinical trial, researchers attempted to see if oral drugs can stop the progression of Alzheimer’s by targeting bacteria in the brain. Six hundred and forty-three patients aged 55-80, all who had mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, were studied. Some of the patients received placebos. The others received low or high doses of atuzaginstat for 48 weeks. The medication is thought to target gum disease bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) which is known to lead to chronic periodontitis and, in some cases, tooth loss.

Dr. Michael Detke, as reported in Medscape, a global news site for physicians and healthcare professionals, said that “In people with high levels of Pg in saliva, in serum and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), the researchers “saw significant slowing of decline… by anywhere from 26% to 57%.”

Dr. Detke also noted that in animals infected with Pg, the “drug does not clear the bacteria entirely” but “knocks down levels of the bacteria by 80% to 90%.” He explained that use of the medication would then probably be considered a “rest-of-life chronic treatment “ (like the protease inhibitors drugs that treat HIV).

Research Continues

Other studies we’ve reported on point to periodontal disease causing an increased risk for dangerous inflammatory response in the body, linked to the development of Alzheimer’s and numerous other diseases and health issues. With CDC estimates of 70% of all adults over age 65 showing some form of periodontal disease, we’re grateful for studies like this for our senior population and their families.

Read more about this particular dementia and gum disease study here. And think about this: If you or a loved one has gum disease that may not have been addressed, why not start 2022 off on a healthy new path by treating this oral disease? We can ensure you a stress-free, comfortable and highly professional periodontal experience.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Note: Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease is named after German researcher Alois Alzheimer’s who, in 1906, first presented a paper at a psychiatry conference in Germany?