We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

What's happening in your world? Discuss it here.
Forum rules
Play nice. We will be watching

We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby KleinerKiller » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:46 am

New studies may have found a direct correlation between the bacteria that causes gum disease and the development of Alzheimer's. This isn't great, because gum disease affects about a third of the population, but a drug to treat it has entered clinical trials and more developments may be on the way, possibly even a vaccine.

Don't mind me, just going to go brush and floss for ten hours.
  • 9

"Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is a shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it." - Eclipse Phase

NEW REVIEW! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
User avatar
KleinerKiller
Time Waster
Time Waster
 
Posts: 1863
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:34 pm
Location: Newfoungengzealaustrermany
Show rep
Title: Prick With A Pen

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby Absentia » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:52 pm

Wow. Wow!

I've lost a couple of relatives to Alzheimer's, and it is the cruelest fucking thing you've ever seen. If this pans out and they can develop a treatment... wow. I'm a little bit overcome.
  • 11

User avatar
Absentia
TCS Moderator
TCS Moderator
 
Posts: 1755
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:46 am
Location: Earth
Show rep

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby iMURDAu » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:24 pm

Science is just like "yeah let's really prevent gum disease and possibly knockout that pesky Alzheimer's at once k".

Also Kleiner, brushing and flossing for 10 hours consecutively will cause bleeding that is a hotbed for bacteria.

Now I know you said not to mind you but I'm concerned that you've been basically attacking your mouth since you created this topic. Consult a dental professional. And not just anyone who says they're into oral. That's different.
  • 7

“This is going to become a bad meme,” Todd observed.
User avatar
iMURDAu
TCS Chomper
TCS Chomper
 
Posts: 6558
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Route 11 by Scoopalicious
Show rep
Title: King of Fuh

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby NathanLoiselle » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:20 pm

I doubt this is real. Mostly because I've never brushed my teeth and I haven't forgotten a thing. Now...who are all you people and what are you doing in my bedroom?
  • 5

User avatar
NathanLoiselle
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:49 am
Location: You'll Never Know!
Show rep

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby Krashlia » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:52 am

...I wonder how funding the American Dental Association put into this.
  • 0

User avatar
Krashlia
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:44 am
Show rep

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:14 pm

Krashlia wrote:...I wonder how funding the American Dental Association put into this.


I can't find any link to them.

The study was apparently funded by a private biotech company called Cortexyme where most of the researchers work. Cortexyme list various organisations that they are funded by on their website, but not the American Dental Association.

Although bear in mind that this company's raison d'être is the apparent association between gum disease and Alzheimer's that's been known about for a while, so this is the result they would have been hoping for. It probably therefore merits particular scrutiny against confirmation bias etc.

If anyone's interested, the scientific paper on this is free to read online.

I also recommend this blog post - where I first heard about this result, which is by a professional chemist who writes articles rather than by a professional journalist. I rather like his articles, which are scientific but rather less impenetrable to the layman than formal scientific papers. Plus, if you're in need of a laugh, I do heartily recommend you check out his "things I won't work with" and "things I'm glad I don't do" categories (I too am glad I don't have to liquidise four metric tons of moray eels.)
  • 12

The Dungeon Master wrote:Those who don't want to be baptised, make a dexterity saving throw.
User avatar
CarrieVS
TCS Redshirt
TCS Redshirt
 
Posts: 7047
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 pm
Location: By my wild self in the wet wild woods waving my wild tail
Show rep
Title: Swamp Thing

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby cmsellers » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:03 pm

I thought the cause and cure for everything was beer?

But, on a serious note, something several of the books that I've read recently mention is that Alzheimer's is one of the cluster of diseases associated with insulin resistance, a cluster which also includes heart disease, diabetes, gout, and several types of cancer. Alzheimer's is particularly associated with insulin resistance, to the point that some experts call it "Type III diabetes."

With the relevant cancers, the theory is that cancer can make use of blood glucose better than your regular cells can, and so if this bacteria is causal in Alzheimer's that would me my guess as well. However my better guess is that this bacteria is not causal, and both these gingivitis-causing bacteria and Alzheimer's are caused by excessive sugar consumption.

Learning that this was sponsored by an organization dedicated to proving exactly this is a bit upsetting, particularly given the evidence presented in that article. It reminds me of how aggressively Ancel Keys pushed the Diet-Heart Hypothesis against evidence to the contrary. And the note about how giving mice predisposed to Alzheimer's these bacteria worsens their symptoms reminds me of how salt is still anathema in health circles because it worsens the health symptoms of some insulin-resistant people, ignoring the underlying causes of IR.

The evidence presented in this article does not suggest to me that these bacteria cause the onset Alzheimer's, but if they can make the symptoms worse, I am worried that as with other metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, we may see this become a popular treatment, even if at best it only marginally delays the inevitable. Worse still, it would depend on antibiotic use, which could make other things worse. This is especially a problem if studies ignore other symptoms and especially if they total mortality; if they only look at severity of Alzheimer's symptoms.

It's still possible that these bacteria are causal in Alzheimer's but I sincerely hope this research doesn't send doctors down an ineffective and even counter-productive path for decades. And yet, I don't have much faith that it won't especially with a think tank pushing it.
  • 2

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 8810
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby sunglasses » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:26 pm

cmsellers wrote:
But, on a serious note, something several of the books that I've read recently mention is that Alzheimer's is one of the cluster of diseases associated with insulin resistance, a cluster which also includes heart disease, diabetes, gout, and several types of cancer. Alzheimer's is particularly associated with insulin resistance, to the point that some experts call it "Type III diabetes."



Oddly the majority of my Alzheimer's patients are not diabetic. I have never heard anyone call Alzheimer's type III diabetes.

Just saying.
  • 4

TCS Etiquette Guide

Rules and FAQs

Zevran wrote:Magic can kill. Knives can kill. Even small children launched at great speeds can kill.
User avatar
sunglasses
TCS Moderator
TCS Moderator
 
Posts: 11541
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:52 pm
Show rep
Title: The Speaker of Horrors.

Re: We might have found the cause (and cure) for Alzheimer's

Postby cmsellers » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:48 pm

The idea that Alzheimer's is "Type III diabetes" is a relatively new idea. And given that it seems to be an independent metabolic issue with the same route in insulin resistance, I don't really like the name. But the key point is that patients with Alzheimer's are much more likely to be insulin-resistant. And given that insulin resistance is usually diagnosed based on having at least three of five traits (obesity, low HDL, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, I forget the fifth), you might expect that the numbers would be higher.

I had only two of the traits of insulin resistance (obesity, low HDL), and yet still improved my health dramatically cutting down on sugar and starch (though I also did several other things, which complicates things a bit). And since all of the diagnostic criteria have hard cutoffs, and lot of those factors take years to reach the threshold, it wouldn't surprise me if people see the effects of insulin resistance before they meet any of the diagnostic criteria: it seems to me like the direction of these factors should be more important in identifying IR than the actual cutoffs.
  • 0

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 8810
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron