Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Ryane Lester, PA-C


Background: Al􏰕heimer􏰊s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, most common in the elderl􏰓 population that results in significant health problems. Similarly, periodontal disease is also harmful and increases with age. It is estimated that 70.1 % of adults above the age of 65 have the periodontal disease.1 Researchers have speculated that local inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontitis have contributed to the development of AD. The focus of this paper is to determine if there is an association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's Disease.

Methods: Data was collected from the PubMed and UpToDate. Studies included in this paper analyzed the relationship between Alzheimer's disease and periodontal disease and the role of this relationship in the disease process. Most of the studies were literature reviews and systematic reviews. Ke􏰓ywords that were used in the search engine include Al􏰕heimer􏰊s disease, periodontitis, periodontal bacteria, periodontal disease, mild cognitive impairment, proinflammatory cytokines, neurodegenerative diseases, neurofibrillary tangles, and inflammation.

Results: Systemic inflammation likely plays a role in Alzheimer's disease inflammatory state. Periodontal disease is also capable of triggering localized and systemic inflammation by releasing proinflammatory cytokines into the systemic circulation, therefore, likely􏰓 contributing to aggravate neuroinflammation in the development of Al􏰕heimer􏰊s disease.

Conclusion: There are proven links between periodontal disease and Al􏰕heimer􏰊s disease; however, there is no conclusive proof of the causal connection between periodontitis and Al􏰕heimer􏰊s disease. Further work is required to ascertain the nature of the connection and find therapeutic approaches that may prevent the development of both diseases.


SC 11.PAS.2020.Lin.J