Two Recent “Behind the Headlines” Critical Appraisals (NHS Choices / Evolution, Medicine and Public Health / Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease)


The NHS Choices “Behind the Headlines” service produces regular critical appraisals of recent research into dementia-related topics which have appeared in the news. Here are two of these:

The Association Between Economic Development, Sanitation, Cleanliness and the Estimated Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease

Epidemiological research indicates that countries with higher levels of pathogens, poor sanitation and lower levels of hygiene (generally reflecting lower levels of economic development) have lower recorded rates of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Full Text Link (a)


Cleanliness does not ’cause dementia’. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, September 5th 2013.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (b)


Fox, M. Knapp, LA. [and] Andrew, PW. [et al] (2013). Hygiene and the world distribution of Alzheimer’s disease: epidemiological evidence for a relationship between microbial environment and age-adjusted disease burden. Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. 2013 (1): 173-186. Epub. ahead of print: August 11th 2013.

Suggested Link Between Lipopolysaccharides, Gum Disease and the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease

A small study discovered that the substances (lipopolysaccharides) on the surface of the bacterium which cause gum disease are present in the brain tissue of 40% of deceased Alzheimer’s patients; but were absent from the brain tissue of people who did not have Alzheimer’s Disease. This was taken to suggest that the presence of gum bacteria (lipopolysaccharides) in the brain possibly causes inflammation, thereby triggering the brain damage associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Full Text Link (c)


Little proof gum disease causes Alzheimer’s. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, July 31st 2013.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (d) (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Poole, S. Singhrao, SK. [and] Kesavalu, L. [et al] (2013). Determining the presence of periodontopathic virulence factors in short-term postmortem Alzheimer’s disease brain tissue. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: JAD, 2013, Vol.36(4), pp.665-77. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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