A new study jointly led by the University of Southampton and King’s College London, 2016 has found a link between gum disease and greater rates of cognitive decline in people with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
The team of researchers enrolled 59 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to their study, and 52 of these participants were followed for an average of 6 months.
At the beginning and end of the follow-up period, a dental hygienist assessed the dental health of the subjects, and the researchers took blood samples from the participants and assessed them for inflammatory markers. Subjects also underwent cognitive tests at study baseline and after 6 months.
Compared with participants who did not have gum disease at study baseline, those who did were found to have a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline during the 6-month follow-up period.