Inflammation and Alzheimer's disease: possible role of periodontal diseases.

Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, College of Dentistry, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Impact Factor: 17.47). 07/2008; 4(4):242-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2007.08.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the etiology and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have not been defined; however, inflammation within the brain is thought to play a pivotal role. Studies suggest that peripheral infection/inflammation might affect the inflammatory state of the central nervous system. Chronic periodontitis is a prevalent peripheral infection that is associated with gram-negative anaerobic bacteria and the elevation of serum inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein. Recently, chronic periodontitis has been associated with several systemic diseases including AD. In this article we review the pathogenesis of chronic periodontitis and the role of inflammation in AD. In addition, we propose several potential mechanisms through which chronic periodontitis can possibly contribute to the clinical onset and progression of AD. Because chronic periodontitis is a treatable infection, it might be a readily modifiable risk factor for AD.

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