Today’s Headlines: Alzheimer’s, Smokers and Longevity

Bacteria in brains suggests oral hygiene role in Alzheimer’s: “Bacteria linked to gum disease traveled to the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that dental hygiene plays a role in the development of the memory-robbing illness, British researchers said. Signs of the bacterium, known as Porphyromonas gingivalis, were found in four out of 10 samples of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients, while no signs of the bug were found in 10 brains from people of similar age who never developed dementia, according to the results of the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.” (Bloomberg)

Panel advises annual lung cancer screening for current and former smokers: “For the first time, there’s evidence that screening smokers may save them dying of lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government-based panel of experts, released a draft recommendation that smokers between the ages of 55 to 80 who have a history of smoking a pack a day for 30 years or more, as well as those who have quit within the last 15 years, should get low dose CT scans of their lungs to look for possible tumors. Smoking accounts for about 85% of lung cancer, which is among the leading causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.” (Time

A diabetes pill has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice, research suggests: “A diabetes pill has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice, research suggests. Scientists believe the drug, metformin, may mimic the effects of extreme calorie restriction. This regime, which is based on eating a very low calorie diet, is thought to promote healthy ageing. The human implications of the study are unclear, the researchers report in the journal, Nature Communications.” The scientists found that specific doses of metformin “increased lifespan by about 5%, and also delayed the onset of age-associated diseases.” (BBC)