Dementia Symptoms Less Noticeable Among Latinos, Study Says

A simple blood test could predict if a patient will develop Alzheimer's disease up to 16 years before symptoms begin a new study finds

"We know diseases like Alzheimer's are complex and have several different causes, but strong genetic evidence indicates that factors other than bacterial infections are central to the development of Alzheimer's, so these new findings need to be taken in the context of this existing research", added David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer's Research UK.

"We found that in Alzheimer's disease, many subunits of glutamate receptors in the frontal cortex are downregulated, disrupting the excitatory signals, which impairs working memory", Yan said.

A team of researchers has found that proteins produced by P. gingivalis are present in higher concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

In the new study, Cortexyme have now reported finding the toxic enzymes - called gingipains - that P. gingivalis uses to feed on human tissue in 96 per cent of the 54 Alzheimer's brain samples they looked at, and found the bacteria themselves in all three Alzheimer's brains whose DNA they examined. The team also examined the cerebrospinal fluid and saliva of 10 patients believed to have Alzheimer's disease, and found the P. gingivalis gene hmuY in seven, and P. gingivalis itself in all of them.

A new study suggests that it may be more hard to detect Alzheimer's disease (AD) in Hispanic patients.

In separate experiments with mice, oral infection with the pathogen led to brain colonisation by the bacteria, together with increased production of amyloid beta (Aβ), the sticky proteins commonly associated with Alzheimer's. They discovered a higher risk of showing signs of brain atrophy in participants whose neurofilament light blood protein levels had risen quickly in the past compared to healthy participants with steady levels of blood protein. Moreover, they detected gingipains, the toxic enzymes secreted by the bacteria, in the brains of patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, correlating to two markers: the tau protein and the protein tag ubiquitin. What's more, autopsies have shown that protein plaques can appear in people who had no Alzheimer's disease. Future studies will focus on developing compounds that penetrate the brain more effectively and are thus longer-lasting, the researchers said.

The interest of scientists to these bacteria is not random. Potempa, J. (2019). Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer's disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors.

The findings, which were published in the January 14 issue of Nature Medicine, can potentially help with early Alzheimer's diagnoses and new drug development.

Authors say the data suggests it may be more hard for clinicians to detect AD in its mild to moderate stages among living Hispanic patients compared to non-Hispanic patients. Co-founder Stephen Dominy is a psychiatrist who in the 1990s became intrigued by the idea that Alzheimer's could have an infectious cause.

'In research we've supported to uncover the key risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, gum disease hasn't emerged as a major cause for concern, ' Dr James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer's Society, said.

"The fact that there is still no effective treatment for Alzheimer's is partly because current therapies start much too late", said professor Mathias Jucker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative diseases in a statement.

This funding acknowledges the decades of failure in Alzheimer's and dementia research, which has been largely based on targeting beta amyloid and tau - approaches which have so far not yielded any compelling evidence of efficacy.

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