Common Stomach Bacteria Found in Two-Thirds of the World Population Could Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

Bacterial Superbug Concept

Recent research from McGill University suggests a link between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people aged 50 and above. Analyzing health data of over four million UK residents, the study found that those with symptomatic H. pylori infection had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This research underscores the importance of investigating potential prevention strategies, including eradicating H. pylori, to combat the rising prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease globally.

A McGill study associates a moderate yet notable rise in Alzheimer’s disease risk in elderly with bacterial infections.

New research indicates that a stomach bacteria found in two-thirds of the global population could be linked with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, investigated whether a clinically apparent Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people aged 50 and older. The prevalent infection can trigger indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, and even stomach cancer.

A team of McGill University researchers analyzed health data of over 4 million people in the United Kingdom aged 50 and above between 1988 and 2019. It found that people with symptomatic H. pylori infection had an 11% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type 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.

Implications for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people globally, with numbers expected to rise sharply as demographics shift, say researchers. “Given the global aging 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 in order to inform the development of prevention strategies, such as individualized eradication programs, to reduce infections at the population level,” said Dr. Brassard, a public health and preventive medicine physician at the McGill University Health Centre.

Reference: “Clinically apparent Helicobacter pylori infection and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease: A population-based nested case-control study” by Antonios Douros, Zharmaine Ante, Carlo A. Fallone, Laurent Azoulay, Christel Renoux, Samy Suissa and Paul Brassard, 13 December 2023, Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
DOI: 10.1002/alz.13561

3 Comments on "Common Stomach Bacteria Found in Two-Thirds of the World Population Could Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer’s"

  1. Hottan Dyspeptic | February 2, 2024 at 12:41 pm | Reply

    H. Pylori infection is usually non-symptomatic. 11% higher risk is a very weak link. The study requiring “symptomatic infection” means inflammation, which is strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease (“Inflammation as a central mechanism in Alzheimer’s disease” Alzheimers & Dementia, 05 September 2018)

  2. Wow , that’s crazy . Would have been nice to know how to prevent getting the disease but very informative article.

  3. I am convinced that we, ourselves, evolved from and are merely advanced forms of bacteria. It should not be a major huddle to find the turn-off switch for this particular model.

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