on Alzheimer's disease This is one of the greatest mysteries of medicine. And while the researchers are trying to find their reasons, that The neurodegenerative disease, so far without treatment, is the fifth leading cause of death in the worldAs the population lives longer, its frequency increases. Among the new hypotheses, one study published a alarming idea: Alzheimer's disease may be an infection,
Although the prospect is not new, it is pa specific area that offers a specific type of bacteria: Porphyromonas gingivalis, Gram-negative cocobacillus that causes chronic periodontitis or gingivitis.
The microbiologist Jan Potterpa, from the University of Louisville, led a team that found that the bacteria in the brains of patients who died of Alzheimer's diseaseAnd to check the relationship between her and the illness they did experiments in mice in which they find that oral infections with this bacil increase the production of beta-amyloid, the protein that usually binds to Alzheimer's disease,
He participates in the investigation Stephen Dominini, co – founder of startup Cortexyme, The pharmaceutical company operates clinical trials of a drug that can prevent the spread of toxins by. t P. gingivilis, Depending on its effectiveness, a treatment and even a vaccineagainst bacteria; which is not equivalent to an Alzheimer's vaccine but would provide an important way to explore therapies.
"Before infectious agents are involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease, but the evidence of causality is not convincing, "said Domini. Scientific warning, "Now, For the first time, we have solid evidence to link the intracellular pathogen, the gram-negative bacillus P. gigivalisand the pathological origin of Alzheimer's disease".
In addition, the team found in the brain of patients killed by the disease toxic enzymes that bacteria secrete called gingipaínas, in proportion to two independent markers of evil, Tau protein and ubiquitin protein marker,
In a brain study of people who did not suffer from Alzheimer's disease before their death, scientists found lower levels of P. gingivalis, which may be a warning signal: if they lived longer, they could develop the disease.
"The identification of gingivalin in the brain of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease as well as pathology, even if not diagnosed, suggests that brain infection P. gingivalis This is not the result of poor dental health because of dementianot a consequence of the final stages of the disease but an early manifestation – they write in the article.
The study also tested the drug developed by Cortexyme, called COR388, currently in clinical trials with Alzheimer's patientsWhen used in mice, it shows its ability to reducing the amount of bacteria in brain infection P. gingivaliswith simultaneous reduction of beta-amyloid production and inflammation of the tissues.
However, drugs against toxic bacteria have so far shown only benefits for mice"said David Reynolds, research director of Alzheimer's Research. – But considering that More than 15 years ago there was no new treatment for dementiaIt is important to try as many approaches as possible to stop diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. "
Evil is usually distinguished by the accumulation of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain that multiply and can be established. for 10 or even 20 years before the symptoms are noticedAnd while it is possible to have amyloid plaques without suffering from dementia, scientists try to control them in seeking treatment. It is considered that these proteins are protection against bacteria, which would open a new path to their control: eliminate the micro-organism that causes them.
on P. gingivalis not only causes gingivitis: it is also proven to be risk factor for inflammatory systemic diseases, pulmonary infections, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis and expectation of childbirth.