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Here Nocona dentist Dr. H. Benjamin Anderson highlights the latest oral health news. Today, we examine the link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral health.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 47 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease ranks as the most common cause. Despite these numbers, Alzheimer’s is typically diagnosed during the later stages of the disease and the techniques used in a diagnosis can be invasive and costly. Now, a study has provided new evidence that saliva could be used to detect changes in the body related to Alzheimer’s.
Dentist in Nocona: A New Means of Detection
Researchers from the University of Alberta reported that their study found a strong link between certain substances found in an individual’s saliva and his or her cognitive abilities.
Study participants were divided into three groups: those with Alzheimer’s, those with mild cognitive impairment and a control group with normal cognitive aging. Analysis of saliva samples taken by researchers showed higher levels of certain metabolites in the Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment group predicted worse memory performance when compared to participants in the control group. Higher levels of other metabolites also predicted a decreased ability to process new information, according to researchers.
The benefit of using saliva to test for dementia is how easily and safely the fluid is to obtain, and saliva has shown promising potential for predicting and tracking cognitive decline, stated researchers. However, more study is needed before saliva tests can be considered an accurate determination for dementia.
Equally important as being able to use saliva as an early warning system is the possibility of using saliva to find targets for treatment to address the metabolic component of Alzheimer’s, which science still does not fully understand.
The study was apart of the University of Albert’s Victoria Longitudinal Study, a long-term, large scope investigation on human aging that aims to identify actual changes, variations and interactions among numerous aspects of neurological decline during aging.
Dentist in Nocona: Oral Health Linked to Dementia
A new form of testing for dementia also brings into light the established links between Alzheimer’s disease and an individual’s oral health.
Studies have found that individuals who suffer from gum disease have a significantly higher rate of developing dementia later in life. For patients of Nocona dentist Dr. H. Benjamin Anderson to lower their risk for dementia, you need to brush and floss daily, along with scheduling regular checkups and cleanings at Nocona Dental.