Public service announcement

Just saw this, don’t know how it will look in ten years, but just FYI —

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

If you bled when you brushed your teeth this morning, you might want to get that seen to. We may finally have found the long-elusive cause of Alzheimer’s disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in chronic gum disease.

That’s bad, as gum disease affects around a third of all people. But the good news is that a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis is entering major clinical trials this year, and research published today shows it might stop and even reverse Alzheimer’s. There could even be a vaccine.

Alzheimer’s is one of the biggest mysteries in medicine. As populations have aged, dementia has skyrocketed to become the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide. Alzheimer’s constitutes some 70 per cent of these cases and yet, we don’t know what causes it.

It’s looked to me like some families are genetically resistant to Alzheimer’s; for example, in my immense extended family, I know of just one person with Alzheimer’s. Now I wonder about the rate of gingivitis in our family.

If Alzheimer’s is a problem in your extended family, this connection may well be worth paying attention to, and you may want to click through and read the whole thing.

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