Parkinson's disease 'may' start in gut

Parkinson's-inducing protein in the gut points to possible link between gastrointestinal tract and disease

Parkinson's-inducing protein in the gut points to possible link between gastrointestinal tract and disease

No appendix? Your risk of Parkinson's is reduced by more than 20% Having your appendix removed comes with an unexpected advantage; scientists have discovered that an appendectomy reduces the risk of Parkinson's by up to 25 percent.

Parkinson's disease is an incurable brain disease that affects the senses, memory and mood.

Researchers looked at a half million people in Sweden and found those whose appendix had been removed early in life were at an nearly a 20-percent lower risk of developing Parkinson's compared to those who still had their appendix.

The researchers found abnormally folded proteins, called alpha-synuclein, in the appendix. However, Labrie warned that appendectomy does not guarantee that a person will not be diagnosed with Parkinson's.

Could the appendix be the cause of Parkinson's? NutraIngredients reported previously on the theory that gut microbes may trigger Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease, a degenerative neurological disorder that impairs brain cells and causes movement problems, could have its origins in the appendix, a new study suggests.

Scientists have found further evidence that the gut, or more specifically the appendix, might play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease.

The scientists also studied healthy appendices and found high levels of a protein similar to one that is found in the brains of people with Parkinson's, suggesting that the appendix may serve as a reservoir for this protein and contribute to the development of Parkinson's.

The study showed that nearly everyone in this study had alpha-synuclein protein present in their appendix. The researchers believe that Parkinson's might be triggered during the rare occurrence that the protein escapes the appendix.

Again, don't go removing your appendix just yet.

"Despite having a reputation as largely unnecessary, the appendix actually plays a major part in our immune systems, in regulating the makeup of our gut bacteria and now, as shown by our work, in Parkinson's disease".

But this is a potential avenue for treatment, and drug companies are interested in targeting the protein in people who already have Parkinson's, Patrik Brundin, director of the Centre for Neurodegenerative Science at the Van Andel Research Institute, said in the teleconference.

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