More Research Needed On Alzheimer’s-Gum Disease Bacteria Link


Posted on Aug 23, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I’ve been pleased at how many comments I’ve received on the recent blog posted on the study that found a connection between a certain type of bacteria found in Periodontal (gum) Disease and the brains of deceased patients who had Alzheimer’s Disease.

To repeat the basics: Researchers used human brain tissue from 10 recently deceased people with diagnosed Alzheimer’s and 10 people without. The people with and without the disease were matched so the person’s age at death and other factors were similar.

While exciting, critics say the study, which only involved¬†20 people, was too small of a sampling. It is felt that this rarely produces conclusive results. Yet, as a Periodontal Specialist who has seen major medical breakthroughs to occur with their roots in such small samples, I’m encouraged.

While 4 out of 10 sounds like a small number, it is 40% of those with the particular gum disease bacteria compared to 0% of those without the presence of the bacteria. When viewed in these numbers, the results seem more dramatic.

I look forward to keeping you in the loop on future developments along these lines!

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