Alpha Omega UK Events

Feb 22 2022
Prof Nicola West

The Association between Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s Disease

22/02/2022 6:30pm - 9:00pm
The Royal College of Physicians 11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE

Professor Nicola West

Nicola West is Professor of Periodontology leading Periodontology and the Dental Clinical Trials Unit at Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, UK.

Nicola is the Secretary General of the European Federation of Periodontology and President Elect of the British Society of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry. Nicola is also a member of the Royal College of England Specialist Advisory Committee and General Dental Council Specialist Listing assessor. Nicola leads the Clinical Trials Unit conducting research in the international forum, attracting substantial industrial funding alongside EC, government and charity grants. Current research interests include: developing periodontal research methodologies, the scientific evaluation of oral health care products, tooth wear, dentine hypersensitivity, tooth staining and whitening; periodontal disease associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and cardiovascular diseases, bone augmentation and peri-implant lesions.

Since 1990, Nicola has maintained in parallel, a thriving private referral practice in the centre of Bristol undertaking specialist periodontal treatment, bone augmentation and implant placement. A particular sphere of interest includes the management of peri-implantitis lesions.


There is compelling evidence to suggest a strong link between periodontitis and late onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). This includes studies showing a relationship between periodontal health, including levels of circulating antibodies to periodontal pathogens, and cognitive impairment, as well as large- scale population studies. The aetiology of LOAD is known to have a large inflammatory component mediated by the innate immune system in the brain. Chronic peripheral inflammation such as that caused by periodontitis may have a role in activation of inflammatory processes in the brain and subsequent LOAD associated pathology, but additionally, the direct incursion of microbial pathogens, including periodontal bacteria, into the CNS may have an important role. This presentation will review the literature on the association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s Disease and discuss recent research on characterisation of bacterial populations found in post-mortem brain samples from areas relevant to early and late stages of AD pathology. Treatment of a patient with early dementia will also be covered.

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