Stomach bacteria linked to Alzheimer’s disease

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In a groundbreaking study, researchers have found a potential connection between a common stomach bacteria and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

This bacteria, known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), is found in about two-thirds of people worldwide and is known to cause various stomach issues, including indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, and in severe cases, stomach cancer.

The study focused on individuals aged 50 and above, exploring whether having noticeable symptoms of H. pylori infection could be linked to a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Researchers delved into the health records of over 4 million people in the United Kingdom, covering the years from 1988 to 2019. They discovered that those with symptomatic H. pylori infections were 11% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and its causes are varied. However, this study adds to the growing evidence that infections, particularly H. pylori, might play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

This finding is especially crucial because it suggests a possible preventive strategy: eradicating H. pylori might help prevent Alzheimer’s in some people.

Globally, Alzheimer’s disease impacts millions, and as the population ages, these numbers are predicted to soar.

Paul Brassard, the senior author of the study and a professor at McGill University, highlights the urgent need for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s.

He mentions that the number of dementia cases is expected to triple in the next 40 years due to the aging global population. Currently, there are limited treatment options for this disease.

Brassard, who is also a public health and preventive medicine physician at the McGill University Health Centre, hopes that their findings will shed light on the role of H. pylori in dementia.

The goal is to develop prevention strategies, like personalized programs to eradicate this bacterium, which could reduce infection rates at a larger scale. This approach could be a significant step in tackling one of the most pressing health issues of our time.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, and higher magnesium intake could help benefit brain health.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and coconut oil could help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s.

The research findings can be found in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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