Of dentures and dementia

Published: Saturday 15 July 2000

A good pair of dentures may fend off dementia, says a new study from Japan. This is the first study that links tooth loss to dementia. The study, conducted by Minoru Onozuka and colleagues from Gifu University School of Medicine, Japan, claims that chewing prevents memory loss with age.

In an experiment, the team found genetically-altered mice aged rapidly with signs similar to human ageing -- hair loss, cataracts and loss of memory. In memory tests, old mice with full set of teeth, performed slightly worse than their younger ones. Mice with no molars could not remember anything. Investigation of hippocampus, which gets worse as we age, confirmed this fact (Behavioral and Brain Research, Vol 108, No 2).

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