Tokyo, Oct 16 (EFE) .- A group of researchers say they have discovered the mechanism by which bacteria associated with periodontitis, or gum disease, spread through the body to cause dementia, a finding that could help in its prevention.
The scientific community believes that Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia (accounting for between 60% and 70% of cases), occurs and progresses when beta amyloid (a key peptide in its development) and other abnormal proteins gradually increase in brain.
In recent years, studies have shown that periodontitis bacteria and a toxic substance associated with the pathology spread through the body through blood vessels, leading to the production and accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain, but it was not clear how they accumulated there.
As part of their investigations, a team of scientists that includes researchers from the Japanese University of Kyushu and the Beijing Institute of Technology in China, administered gum disease bacteria to the abdomen of mice for three weeks to develop the disease, according to details of the study that transcended this Friday through the Japanese newspaper Asahi.
The researchers compared the infected mice with healthy ones and found that a RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products, also called AGER) protein that transports beta amyloid to the brain had doubled its amount on the surface of cerebral blood vessels in mice with periodontitis.
The amount of beta amyloid also increased tenfold, and other experiments indicated that diseased mice had memory impairment, they said.
Among the tests they carried out, they administered an agent to inhibit the receptor that transports beta amyloid and managed to reduce the volume of the peptide in infected cells by 40%.
“Our study revealed that periodontal disease bacteria accelerate the accumulation of an abnormal protein in the brain,” Zhou Wu (also known by the Japanese name Hiro Take), associate professor of neuroscience at Kyushu University, told Asahi. .
According to Zhou, “there is a possibility that the treatment and prevention of this disease can prevent the onset and progression of dementia.”
The study was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry and is publicly accessible.
(c) EFE Agency