Mouth Bacteria Can Infect Brain Cells, Research Finds, Supporting Alzheimer’s Link

Mouth Bacteria Can Infect Brain Cells, Research Finds, Supporting Alzheimer’s Link
A type of mouth bacteria involved in gum disease is able to infect human brain cells, new research shows. The infection results in cellular changes that are similar to what is seen in Alzheimer's, supporting a link between the bacteria and the neurodegenerative disease. The findings were presented at the Advances in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease (AAT-AD/PD) Focus Meeting 2020, recently held virtually, in a poster titled, "Intracellular Porphyromonas gingivalis in Neuron-astrocyte-microglia Co-cultures Results in Alzheimer’s disease-like Phenotype." Porphyromonas gingivalis is a type of bacteria best known as a cause of gum (periodontal) disease. However, this bacteria in recent years also has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It produces toxins called gingipains, which have been detected in more than 90% of post-mortem Alzheimer's brains. Additionally, studies in mice have shown that P. gingivalis infection can spread to the brain and cause changes similar to what is seen in AD. Now, researchers from the biopharmaceutical company
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