Scientists Link Gum Inflammation To Alzheimer’s

A research has found that individuals with gum disease are more likely to have cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team, led by Dr. Angela Kamer, examined 20 years of data that support the hypothesis of a possible causal link between periodontal (gum) disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

“The research suggests that cognitively normal subjects with periodontal inflammation are at an increased risk of lower cognitive function compared to cognitively normal subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation,” Kamer said.

The latest findings are based on an analysis of data on periodontal inflammation and cognitive function in 152 subjects in the Glostrop Aging Study, which has been gathering medical, psychological, oral health, and social data on Danish men and women. [Read more...]

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Cholesterol Screening Must For Youngsters

Young adults tend to be notoriously lax about preventive health care, and cholesterol screening is no exception. Barely half of all young men and women are screened for high LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, a new study has found.

Even among those with heart disease, fewer than 70 per cent are screened, according to the study, published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine. The study was based on an analysis of data on 2,587 young adults — including men aged 20 to 35 and women aged 20 to 45 — who participated in the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

Dr Elena V Kuklina, the study’s lead author and a senior fellow with the division for heart disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said young adults should be screened because heart disease is a chronic condition that can begin damaging blood vessels at an early age. [Read more...]

Obtaining Greater Knowledge

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Hot Summer Has Brought Bad Air, More Health Problems

In the first two weeks of July, Frederick Memorial Hospital logged 38 emergency room visits for asthma attacks — only four fewer visits than in the entire month of June.

It’s been a busier-than-normal summer for respiratory distress, said Cherie Hyssong, a respiratory therapist specializing in asthma education at the hospital for 18 years.

“The heat and humidity has made a big impact,” she said. “When the air is so thick, it makes it harder to breathe.”

According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, the first week of July included an extended period of bad air quality across much of the mid-Atlantic region. On both July 6 and 7, air quality in Frederick County reached unhealthy levels for sensitive groups such as children and adults with respiratory and heart ailments. [Read more...]

New Approach To Alzheimer’s Therapy

Researchers from the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich have shown that the ADAM10 protein can inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid, which is responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. ADAM10 acts like a pair of molecular scissors to cut the protein from which beta-amyloid is formed, effectively preventing the formation of beta-amyloid. This makes ADAM10 a key molecule in Alzheimer’s therapy.

The brains of Alzheimer patients have high accumulations of the material beta-amyloid, which appear in the form of plaques. The precursors of these plaques are believed to be the underlying cause of the nerve cell loss that leads to the disruptions in memory that characterize Alzheimer’s disease. The main aim of many Alzheimer therapies is therefore to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid. Since beta-amyloid is cleaved from the so-called amyloid precursor protein (APP), scientists have focused on stopping the two enzymes that attack the precursor protein. These act like molecular scissors and cut out the beta-amyloid fragment. Blocking these scissors precludes the formation of beta-amyloid. [Read more...]