Study: Mouth bacteria could cause stroke

Bacteria from your mouth or your intestines could cause heart attacks or stroke according to a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg’s University.

Two types of bacteria, Pseudomanas luteola and Chlamydia pneumonial, can travel from the mouth into the bloodstream where they stay in the layers of fat, known as plaque, that causes arteriosclerosis. The researchers believe that the bacteria contribute to the inflammation that causes the arteries to rupture which leads to blood clots.

By finding out what cases the arteries to rupture scientists hope that they can develop a vaccine against the bacteria and the findings of the study will be published in the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Our hypotheisis is that the bacteria that go into the plaque speeds up the inflammation… We hope to be able to indentify patients that are at risk and maybe they should have surgery before you see the symptoms. The long term prospect is to develop a vaccine,” said associate professor Fredrik Bäckhed one of the researchers behind the study.

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