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J Dent Res. 2010 May;89(5):473-7. doi: 10.1177/0022034509357881. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Tooth loss, apolipoprotein E, and decline in delayed word recall.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine, MN 210 Chandler Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Our previous research suggests an association between a low number of teeth and increased risk of dementia. The aim of the present study was to determine if a low number of teeth is specifically related to memory decline as evidenced by low Delayed Word Recall scores. In addition, we examined the combined effect of a low number of teeth and the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele on Delayed Word Recall scores. We hypothesized that the scores of those who had the allele and a low number of teeth (0-9) would decline more rapidly over time than those participants with a greater number of teeth who lacked the allele. We found that individuals with both risk factors (the allele and fewer teeth) had lower Delayed Word Recall scores at the first examination and declined more quickly compared with participants with neither of these risk factors or with either risk factor alone.

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