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Study Finds Parkinson’s Disease Originates in the Gut before Affecting the Brain

By Andrew Alpin, 27 Jun 2017

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New research on Parkinson’s has just proved something incredible about the disease. Parkinson’s originates in the gut. All those health experts who have been crying themselves hoarse advocating gut health can be vindicated as to the big fact that a healthy gut is an important issue to general health.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting the idea how Parkinson’s originates in the gut. Senior research author Doctor Rodger Liddle, professor of medicine at Duke University in North Carolina and his team observed how a corrupted protein which formed clumps in the brains of those with Parkinson’s was also found lining the small intestine. The new study was researched using both mice and human cells.

1Parkinson’s affects 10 million people worldwide

In Parkinson’s disease, infected nerve cells either malfunction or degenerate and die. It is a progressive movement disorder that is currently affecting 1 million people in the USA and almost 10 million people worldwide. The human brain contains a protein called alpha-synuclein which dissolves in the fluid of healthy nerve cells in the brain. In Parkinson’s the protein folds abnormally and spreads throughout the nervous system and then to the brain as an infected protein. Misfolded protein molecules then stick to each other forming clumps in the brain damaging neurons in the process.

Parkinson’s affects 10 million people worldwide

Image Source: www.medindia.net

2Earlier studies found those treated with ulcer surgery lowered their risk of Parkinson’s

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A study in 2005 then reported how it found similar infected clumps of the same protein in the gut of patients suffering from Parkinson’s. Subsequent research done this year by Dr. Liddle focused on those who had ulcers and underwent surgery to remove the vagus nerve which connects the brain and stomach. Surprisingly these patients showed a 40% reduced risk of contracting Parkinson’s later in life as opposed to those who did not have their vagus nerve removed. This supported the idea that infected proteins causing Parkinson’s originated in the gut and then traveled to the brain via the vagus nerve. But!! The big question remained. HOW DID SUCH PROTEINS GET ALTERED TO THEIR INFECTIOUS STATE IN THE GUT?

Ulcer surgery lowered their risk of Parkinson’s

Image Source: www.thrillist.com

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