28 January, 2019
However, everything surrounds Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria that causes chronic gum disease. Together, researchers have been working with the rare families who carry the inherited Alzheimer's disease genes to identify the biomarkers for potential predictive testing in the future.
"There's a relationship [between gum disease and Alzheimer's], but the relationship does not necessarily mean cause and effect".
Marzi, who was not involved in the research, said in an email to CNN that if "this result can be replicated in larger cohorts and more generally in sporadic cases of Alzheimer's Disease, the blood test for NfL would indeed be a promising biomarker or diagnostic tool".
"The evidence we found is important to moving forward because early identification of Alzheimer's disease can allow for earlier implementation of treatments and interventions that prolong the life and well-being of patients and their caregivers", said first author Gali Weissberger, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at USC Keck School of Medicine.
Lynch mentioned that despite "significant funding and the best efforts of academic, industry and advocacy communities, clinical progress against Alzheimer's has been frustratingly slow". In mouse models, oral Pg infection led to brain colonization and increased production of amyloid beta (Aβ), a component of the amyloid plaques commonly associated with Alzheimer's.
"Information from our study can help guide how we assess living Hispanic patients who may have Alzheimer's, to more accurately detect the disease in its early stages". In the Alzheimer's diseased brain, however, many neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and eventually die.
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Previous research observed that Alzheimer's disease patients with the oral infection showed cognitive decline over a six-month period when compared with another group of Alzheimer's disease patients without the infection. For the study, chemists developed a drug to help control these modifications, and injected lab mice with the compound three times over three days.
In those with the faulty gene variant, protein levels were higher at baseline and rose over time.
"The findings of this study offer evidence that P. gingivalis and gingipains in the brain play a central role in the pathogenesis [development] of AD [Alzheimer's disease], providing a new conceptual framework for disease treatment", the study authors write.
There was also caution about the fact the drug tests had been in mice.
That's because the protein indicates any loss of nerve cells in the brain.
The study pulled researchers closer to the role of sleeplessness in tau accumulation, clearing up some uncertainty about the protein's role.
In October 2018, Cortexyme announced encouraging results from its Phase 1b clinical trial of COR388 at the 11th Clinical Trials in Alzheimer's Disease Conference.
Tiago Outeiro, professor of neurodegeneration at Newcastle University, mentioned that studies like this, which identify microbes associated with disease, are "extremely attractive, as this might lead to the identification of strategies, such as antibiotics, which may specifically affect those microbes which associate with disease".
The new study, published today in Science Advances, was sponsored by the biotech startup Cortexyme Inc. of South San Francisco, California. Investigators reported the compound was safe and well tolerated in healthy older volunteers and Alzheimer's patients when given at a range of doses for up to 28 days. "We will have to see the outcome of this ongoing trial before we know more about its potential as a treatment for Alzheimer's".