Around 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. It’s a frightening disease with no cure. By 2050, it’s believed that almost 14 million Americans will have it. Medical research has not led to many breakthroughs, which is also alarming.
A recent edition of Science Advances reported on news of a potential link between Alzheimer’s and gingivitis. Researchers have long-since believed there was a link between poor oral care and Alzheimer’s, but they’d never answered why.
They made a breakthrough when looking at a specific bacteria known as porphyromonas gingivalis. The bacteria is often found in brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. What they found was that that specific bacteria are able to create a protein that causes the neurons in the brain to deteriorate.
What Does This Mean?
This isn’t the first time there have been questions about oral health and Alzheimer’s. A year ago, another study found that people with gum disease had a 70 percent higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. The link between oral health and Alzheimer’s seems to be a strong possibility.
Right now, the research on gingivalis and Alzheimer’s is still in the early stages. Researchers were able to stop the bacteria from creating that protein, however. This gives them hope for a route to take in creating a new vaccine or medication that could stop the bacteria and prevent Alzheimer’s.
A drug is in production now. It’s expected that human trials can be started in late-2019. Only those with mild- to mid-stages of Alzheimer’s would qualify for the study.
Oral Health is Important in Other Ways
Regular dental care is the best way to prevent gum disease. Your family should go for twice-yearly cleanings and exams. X-rays of the teeth and jaw can help detect cracks and cavities. If gum disease is found, there are treatments that help kill the bacteria and prevent tooth loss and bone decay.
Make Sure You Balance Caring for a Parent With Self-Care
When your mom or dad has Alzheimer’s, you can’t let their care take over your life. It’s easy to focus so much on their own needs that you ignore yours. Respite care can help. With respite care, elder care aides come to your parent’s house and help provide the care they need while you leave. Go to the spa, go for a drive, or take a long walk. You need the break. Call our elder care agency to learn more about caregivers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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