Parkinson’s Disease Might Originate In The Appendix, A New Study Revealed

Leslie Hanson
November 4, 2018

During their study, researchers focused on identifying the factors influencing the development of the disease that focus outside of the human brain. "And if it were to enter the brain, it can seed and spread from there and have neurotoxic effects that could eventually lead to 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. The analysis revealed that the risk of developing Parkinson's disease was 20% lower in people whose appendix had been removed.

The tiny appendix may be a hidden source of risk for the onset of Parkinson's disease and its removal reduces by 25% the risk of this incurable neurological disorder, according to a new worldwide scientific research, the largest of its kind to date.

The same abnormally folded proteins are also found in people that are not diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease. One possibility is that Parkinson's is triggered in the rare events when the protein escapes the appendix and travels up the vagus nerve, which links the gut to the brain stem. The researchers analyzed medical cards of one million seven hundred thousand people. NutraIngredients reported previously on the theory that gut microbes may trigger Parkinson's disease. Also, the scientists found some differences in protein structure between healthy people and people with Parkinson's disease.

University of Pennsylvania neuroscience and geriatric medicine professor John Trojanowski, who was not involved in the study, thought it was excellently done and agreed with the paper's statement that the appendix is a source of mis-folded alpha-synuclein that could be targeted for therapeutic strategies.

However, Woulfe mentioned that not all investigators agree that these protein clumps spread along the nerves.

"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".

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