New Evidence in the Gum Inflammation-Alzheimer's Disease Link

The first long-term evidence that periodontal disease increases risk for cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease has been found by NYU College of Dentistry researchers.

The first long-term evidence that periodontal disease increases risk for cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s disease has been found by NYU College of Dentistry researchers, with gum inflammation also linked to the development of brain inflammation and neurodegeneration.

The new evidence, found in both health people and those already suffering from cognitive impairment, came after examining 20 years of data that support the hypothesis that such a link existed.

“The research suggests that cognitively normal subjects with periodontal inflammation are at an increased risk of lower cognitive function compared to cognitively normal subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation,” said Dr. Angela Kamer, Assistant Professor of Periodontology & Implant Dentistry.

The research team specifically found a strong association between periodontal inflammation and lower Digit Symbol Test scores at age 70 years, with those who had gum inflammation nine times more likely to test in the lower rang of DST when compared with those who had little or no inflammation.

Dr. Kamer found that periodontal inflammation at age 70 was strongly associated with lower DST scores at age 70. Subjects with periodontal inflammation were nine times more likely to test in the lower range of the DST compared to subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation.

Read the entire NYU press release for more.

More Alzheimer’s disease coverage in the news:

  • How Neuroglobin Protects Against Alzheimer's
  • When Memory-related Region of Brain is Damaged, Other Areas Compensate, Study Finds