Yoshiro Fujii : Two Cases of Severe Dementia Showing Dramatic Improvement after Denture Placement
Advanced in Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016, 5: 46-52.
Severe dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is intractable and progressive. The purpose of this study was to document the improvement observed in two cases of severe dementia after denture placement. The subjects, two women in their 70s with severe dementia, were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by the medical doctors in charge of their cases. In the first case, the subject’s symptoms included severe disorientation, impaired communication, and a tendency to wander. Two weeks after a lower complete denture placement, she was able to greet others. Five weeks later, she was able to communicate and precisely read an analog clock. Her condition continued to improve for at least 3 months. In the second case, the subject’s mouth was always open. She was bedridden in a vegetative state and hardly moved, talked, or laughed; it was impossible to communicate with her. Only a few seconds after an upper complete denture placement, she started to talk, albeit unintelligibly. Two weeks after a lower complete denture placement, she could communicate normally, laugh, and walk without help. Although the underlying mechanism has not yet been clarified, the author hypothesizes that positive signals from the oral area are transferred to the brain as positive stimulation via the trigeminal nerve, the largest cranial nerve.
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