Of course, since I suffered from gum disease in my youth, I know the only way to eradicate it is mechanically, in the dentist's chair. The process removes a layer of gum tissue which will not grow back which then means you are much more susceptible to the problem recurring. Extensive oral hygiene thus becomes a way of life.
Regardless of any link with alzheimer's, I would urge anyone to avoid having to go through this and, if you have bleeding gums, go and see a dental professional as soon as possible - expensive mouthwash may mask the problem for a while but it certainly won't cure it.
Using the waterpik for the first time, it was like flossing for the first time in a while. I could taste nastiness that has been brewing in between my teeth. The crevasses are now effortlessly cleaned out.
3mo ago: Some studies show an association between the herpes virus and Alzheimer’s https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18265115
6mo ago: Alzheimer's risk 10 times lower with herpes medication https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17540094
6mo ago: Link Between Alzheimer’s and Herpes
7mo ago: Researchers Find Herpes Viruses in Brains Marked by Alzheimer's Disease https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17366591
One thing worth noting is that some specialists believe that Alzheimer's has multiple subtypes, eg: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/dale-bredesen
"1. The inflammatory subtype of Alzheimer’s disease.
A type characterized by systemic inflammation, reflected in such laboratory results as a high hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein), low albumin:globulin ratio, and high cytokine levels such as interleukin-1 and interleukin-6.
2. The atrophic subtype of Alzheimer's disease — a reduction in support for synaptogenesis.
A type characterized by an atrophic profile, with reduced support from molecules such as estradiol, progesterone, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), testosterone, insulin, and vitamin D, often accompanied by increased homocysteine and insulin resistance, the last feature of which Dr. Bredesen refers to as type 1.5 or glycotoxicity.
3. The cortical subtype of Alzheimer's disease — an environmental toxin-related type associated with chronic Inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) that presents with more general cerebral atrophy and frontal-temporal-parietal abnormalities, resulting in an emphasis on executive deficits, rather than the more amnestic quality of hippocampal impairment."
There's also plenty linking (and potentially reversing) Alzheimers related to insulin resistance:
Insulin Resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease: Bioenergetic Linkages (2017)
Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (2016)
Effects of ketone bodies in Alzheimer's disease in relation to neural hypometabolism, β‐amyloid toxicity, and astrocyte function (2015)
Insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s disease (2009)
That doesn't mean one is right and the other wrong. Maybe herpes gets in first and lets gingivalis in, or vice versa, or some other, more interesting interaction.
What's tragic is that effectively none of the present researchers are virologists or bacteriologists. As consequences, (1) progress studying and generating a useful clinical response will be radically slowed by resistance from the old guard to the threat to their livelihood, and (2) they will all need to find something else to do, because you can't pick up those specializations overnight.
The herpes connection was noted twenty years ago, but is only now getting traction. If it's right, then almost everybody who died of AS since then was killed by the structural resistance to the idea.
The best way to accelerate progress, now, would be to find another urgent health problem that seems to need the skillset that had previously been brought to bear on AS, so they jump ship and get the hell out of the way.
Now I know you're going to argue that the epidemiological studies account for this using multiple regression and so on, but the fact is time and time again it has been demonstrated that this just cannot be done. Indeed, vitamin D in practically every epidemiological study to date has shown to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular mortality, tuberculosis infect. And yet, just this month, someone FINALLY did a randomised trial of vitamin D in TWENTY SIX THOUSAND people (the VITAL trial) and found it made no difference at all (in fact, cardiovascular death was slightly but non-significantly more common in the vitamin D group).
Unfortunately, people's careers and publications rely on this stuff, so it'll keep coming. Please remain skeptical, hacker news.
The article very clearly distinguishes between the cause and a cause. "Alzheimer’s is a complex disorder, not a one stop shop" and so on.
> best explained by correlation than causation
They did more than that. They also found gingipains in the brains of patients. Those had to come specifically from P.gingivalis infection, not the other factors you mention. They identified a plausible causal pathway involving tau and amyloid beta, and they induced their production by introducing P.gingivalis in mice. That's a lot more than merely equating correlation with causation.
Skepticism is good. Ignoring what has been presented is not skepticism, and neither is jumping from correlation to non-causation. That's just contrarianism.
> Please remain skeptical, hacker news.
Sure, but please don't be the binary-kind of skeptic, the kind that believes that things are either causative or not causative and that everything in between is just "correlated" and that we somehow need to find out what the real causative thing is, and until then, we will not accept anything, until we have the smoking gun. That somehow we have must keep living in denial and ignore growing mountains of evidence because it's "murky" until it finally clicks over into "proven" and we change our minds.
I don't think this article is as bullish on the idea as you might imagine. If anything, such articles should stretch our imagination as to what could be causing and contributing to Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. Like heart disease, it is likely that Alzheimer's as we understand it has a number of symptoms and causative factors that might be affected by thousands of variables. Just discounting whole lines of research this way is binary thinking.
Kudos on those who did the Vitamin D study. But if we're constantly seeking a shocking repudiation or proof of every possible idea, the kind of slam-dunk that goes up in lights and earns everyone backslaps and Nobel prizes, we're already on the wrong mental track, IMHO.
And all of this is not to give license to true believers who catch on an idea based on the thinnest of evidence. IMO skepticism and conspiracy-theory-mindedness are on opposite ends of the same spectrum, and both are close-minded in fairly damaging ways.
Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors
But please, hacker news, don't poison comments with generic "causation is not correlation" tourette. Read the article first and make specific comments.
Or in a nutshell: Hacker News, please apply scientific principles.
Which does look initially promising:
> Giving the mice a drug that binds gingipains cleared P. gingivalis from the brain better than a common antibiotic, and it reduced the β-amyloid production and resulting neurodegeneration. [...] In initial tests with human volunteers, a similar drug seemed safe and showed signs of improving cognition in nine participants with Alzheimer’s, the company says.
Also, did you miss the distinction between a cause and the cause? It's not a zero-sum game.
More seriously, yes, I agree that sugar is nasty, but it's a bit too simple to blame it as the sole factor for all possible diseases that have a mechanism of action that hasn't been clearly identified.
It appears that the simplicity of the explanation is itself a problem. Surely - all these chronic diseases can't be that simply explained? Dr. Wahls essentially claims carbs are the root cause of MS, which she cured in herself (with the corollary that carbs eliminate other nutrition). Dr. Fung claims it's the root cause of diabetes. Prof Seyfried claims it's the root cause of cancer. It surely can't be that simple?
Reading all their work, and others, I'm struck that it's very much a five-whys scenario.
Also there are two points wrapped up in the original response. One is about the cause, but there's a bigger issue about the avoidance of the problem in a first place. If someone never eats refined carbs and therefor avoids the root cause, why would they care about the details of the cause? We care about the details insomuch as we would like to treat the disease, but today we can't do that. On the other hand we do know with a lot of certainty that eating well, fasting and exercising are good for us and avoid the problems in the first place. For some reason, that doesn't matter as much.
The downside with treating the disease is that you also enable it, like how we "treat" T2 diabetes by essentially just giving you more diabetes via insulin shots.
 - https://stevecoast.com/2015/03/27/the-world-will-only-get-we...
I figured there's always enough bacteria in the mouth to cause morning breath, food consumption or not, but there is definitely an exacerbation of mouth bacteria from food consumption.