Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London have found a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s.
The study observed 59 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and gum disease and tested their cognitive functions over a six-month period.
The researchers found that gum disease was associated with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline in participants over the six-month follow-up period of the study.
The doctors concluded from their study that the body’s inflammatory response to gum disease was what affected the patient’s brain and memory.
Researchers say there is a viscous cycle between the two diseases as Alzheimer’s sufferers are more prone to gum disease due to their decreased ability in maintaining personal hygiene.
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The fact that gum disease is now proven to contribute to worsening their condition is a worry for many doctors who now need to find a way to prevent the condition in patients.
It may come down to the patient’s family having to monitor their hygiene and gum health more closely to ensure they are safe from developing the condition.
Do you know anyone who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Do you worry about cognitive health as you grow older?