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A Look at Your Teeth May Disclose Risk of Brain Diseases: New Study

Only a week ago, the world went gaga over William or popularly known as WO – the 33-year old Briton who had developed anterograde amnesia after going for a routine root canal surgery in 2004.

His fight for the past 10 years has been so fascinating that doctors studied his case and published it before the public, hoping some form of miraculous ideas might help them to treat WO who had to be reminded every 90-minutes after that that his daughter and son are now 21 and 18, respectively.

Now a new study by American and Australian scientists has shown that teeth scanning can be a gateway to disclose the risk of brain diseases like Parkinson’s in adulthood.


Manish Arora, an Indian-origin scientist who is associated with Mount Sinai and Icahn School of Medicine in New York, along with Dominic Hare who is associated with the University of Technology, Sydney utilized a dental biomarker technology to differentiate between breast-fed babies and formula-fed babies.

This technology is applicable to learn the connection between early iron introduction and late-life brain sickness such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which are linked with abnormal processing of iron. Although not all formula fed babies will suffer from neurodegenartion in adulthood, the amalgamation of elevated iron consumption at the infant stage with a tendency to weakened metal metabolism like incapability of brain cells to eradicate too much metals, may ruin those cell in the seeds of time.

The report has suggested that the need to know the human iron metabolism in case of baby formula has become even more important due to the popularity of formula and fortified cereals, across the globe. It further reported that mixing iron to formula has become a known fact in the industry, especially because nearly 2 billion people around the world (mainly in third world countries) are believed to chronic anemic and iron deficit.

Nevertheless, European Society for Pediatroc Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition has said that there is not yet any proof that babies who have had normal birthweight need iron enhancement.

Dr. Hare said that “while it might seem like drawing a long bow linking what happens in childhood to diseases we think of as associated with growing old,” the rising numbers of these illnesses indicate that everything that might play a part in the start of these diseases has to be found out. “Knowing this gives us something to target when designing new treatments,” he added.

Arora said that he and his team are specifically interested in teeth, so that they can gauge the introduction of chemical in both “fetal and childhood development,” adding that teeth offers a “chronological record of exposure from their microchemical composition in relation to defined growth lines, much like the rings in a tree trunk.”

Hare said that only now they have the technology accessible to utilize to reminisce about one’s diet as a child, “more than 60 years after they stopped wearing diapers.”

“State-of-the-art imaging technology is a chemical time machine that can tell us about decades-old chemical exposures that are equivalent to a drop of ink in a swimming pool,” he added.

The research team thinks that outside of the hypothetical situation that iron enhancement may elevate the risk of neurodegeneration, precedence in pediatric study should be the precise establishment of iron enhancement demands of new-born babies as per their individual iron condition.

Formula producers have a duty to duplicate the chemical composition of breast milk, especially with association to iron content. The “one size fits all” move to iron enhancement that is trending at present has a possibility to be both clinically unrequired as well as introduce an undesirable risk in the later stage of life.

Arora said that their study of iron residues in teeth as a process “for retrospective determination of exposure” is only one presentation and they think that teeth have the capability “to help track the impact of pollution on health globally.”

The report stressed that regardless of this hypothesis turning out to be true or not, it questions years of treatment that needs to be reconsidered with the most progressive technology accessible.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Reviews Neurology.

According to Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s. net reported that almost 44 million people in the world suffer from the disease or related dementia.

According to UCB Societal Responsibility Fund, 1 in every 500 people suffer from Parkinson’s disease, worldwide.

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