Periodontal disease associates with higher brain amyloid load in normal elderly

Angela R. Kamer, Elizabeth Pirraglia, Wai Tsui, Henry Rusinek, Shankar Vallabhajosula, Lisa Mosconi, Li Yi, Pauline McHugh, Ronald G. Craig, Spencer Svetcov, Ross Linker, Chen Shi, Lidia Glodzik, Schantel Williams, Patricia Corby, Deepak Saxena, Mony J. de Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques is a central feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). First reported in animal models, it remains uncertain if peripheral inflammatory and/or infectious conditions in humans can promote Aβ brain accumulation. Periodontal disease, a common chronic infection, has been previously reported to be associated with AD. Thirty-eight cognitively normal, healthy, and community-residing elderly (mean age, 61 and 68% female) were examined in an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and a University-Based Dental School. Linear regression models (adjusted for age, apolipoprotein E, and smoking) were used to test the hypothesis that periodontal disease assessed by clinical attachment loss was associated with brain Aβ load using 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (PIB) positron emission tomography imaging. After adjusting for confounders, clinical attachment loss (≥3 mm), representing a history of periodontal inflammatory/infectious burden, was associated with increased PIB uptake in Aβ vulnerable brain regions (p= 0.002). We show for the first time in humans an association between periodontal disease and brain Aβ load. These data are consistent with the previous animal studies showing that peripheral inflammation/infections are sufficient to produce brain Aβ accumulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain amyloid
  • Cognition
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Periodontal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Periodontal disease associates with higher brain amyloid load in normal elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this