Computational biologist discovers link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis
Here’s the scoop!
- Research confirms a link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
- A computational biologist discovered bacteria associated with periodontal disease in samples collected from arthritis patients.
- This new research approach could help develop therapies for rheumatoid arthritis and potentially other diseases, such as cancer.
Taking care of your teeth could potentially help prevent chronic joint pain, according to research conducted by computational biologist Vicky Yao from Rice University. Yao discovered traces of bacteria associated with periodontal disease in samples collected from rheumatoid arthritis patients, leading to research that confirmed a link between the two conditions. Regular brushing and dental hygiene could play a crucial role in preventing rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
The research also presents a new approach to studying diseases, which focuses on analyzing discarded data to identify microbial or viral signatures associated with various conditions. This approach could lead to more effective diagnostics and therapeutic treatments for various diseases, including cancer.
Yao explained, “computational analysis is a way to help interpret data and prioritize hypotheses for clinicians or experimental scientists to test.”
The discovery of meaningful information in the microbial signatures in the leftover human samples inspired Yao to take a similar approach in looking at data from cancer patients. If they find some interesting microbial or viral signatures associated with cancer, they can identify productive experimental directions to pursue.
This approach could lead to new ways of diagnosing cancer earlier and in a less invasive or costly way, and identifying microbes associated with survival rates could also help with prognosis.
March 17, 2023 at 8:40 pm
If you think this may apply to you, seek out a periodontist, skip your general practitioner.