A gastrointestinal infection with Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori) increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by 11%, according to a recently published large population-based study. H. Pylori is a bacteria that infects your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine. While many people do not have any symptoms, others can develop ulcers. The diagnosis is made by a stool or breath test and the treatment is antibiotics and an ulcer medication called a PPI (proton pump inhibitor).
Interestingly, the increased risk of developing AD was greatest in people older than 50 years 7-10 years after initial H. Pylori infection and decreased after that. There was no association with demographics or socioeconomic status.
As more effective medications become available to prevent or delay progression of AD, it is important to identify any risk factors that can be addressed. Diagnosis and treatment of H. Pylori is simple and non-invasive, clinicians should consider screening for it in patients already at risk.
The BeCare Neuro Link app can help by screening for the earliest signs of cognitive impairment and other abnormalities that are characteristic of AD.