• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Stomach bug may raise risk of Alzheimer’s disease: Study


WASHINGTON DC: A common gut bacteria that is present in two-thirds of the world’s population may be linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.
The study examined whether a clinically evident Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection raised the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals 50 years of age and older. It was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.The common illness can lead to stomach cancer, gastritis, ulcers, and indigestion.
A group of researchers from McGill University examined the health information of more than 4 million adults in the UK who were 50 years of age or older between 1988 and 2019. It was discovered that those with a symptomatic H. pylori infection had an 11 per cent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent kind of dementia.
While the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is multifaceted, the findings build upon a growing body of evidence on the potential role of infections, particularly H Pylori, in its development.
The study opens avenues for future research, particularly exploring whether eradicating this bacterium could effectively prevent Alzheimer’s disease in some people.
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people globally, with numbers expected to rise sharply as demographics shift, say researchers.
“Given the global ageing population, dementia numbers are expected to triple in the next 40 years. However, there remains a lack of effective treatment options for this disease,” said Dr Paul Brassard, the study’s senior author and a Professor in McGill’s Department of Medicine.
“We hope the findings from this investigation will provide insight on the potential role of H pylori in dementia to inform the development of prevention strategies, such as individualized eradication programmes, to reduce infections at the population level,” said Dr Brassard, a public health and preventive medicine physician at the McGill University Health Centre.


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