Parkinson's Disease May Start In The Gut And Spread To The Brain, A New Study Reveals

First Posted: Apr 29, 2017 05:40 AM EDT

New evidence shows in the new study that Parkinson's disease comes from the gut and not in the brain. Then, it spreads to the brain through the vagus nerve that aid in controlling the unconscious body processes like the digestion and heart rate.

The findings of the study were published in Neurology. The study was led by Bojing Liu from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and other colleagues.

Liu said that the results of the new research give preliminary evidence that Parkinson's disease may start in the gut. He further said that other evidence for this hypothesis is that people with Parkinson's disease often have gastrointestinal problems like constipation, which could begin decades before acquiring the said disease.

In the study, the researchers examined and compared 9,430 individuals who had a vagotomy versus 377,200 individuals from the general population who did not have vagotomy over a 40-year period from the data of the Swedish national registers. Vagotomy surgery is an operation that removes the main trunk or branches of the vagus nerves to cure ulcers, according to News Max.

The results showed that 19 people had acquired Parkinson's disease more than five years after a truncal vagotomy, matched to 60 people who had a selective vagotomy. There were also 3,932 of people who did not undergo surgery and developed Parkinson's after observing for at least five years.

Experts theorized that the vagus nerve played a significant role here and that the vagus nerve surgery had an association with Parkinson's disease.The vagus nerve links the digestive tract with the brain. In the study, those who had removed the vagus nerve were about 40 percent would less likely develop the Parkinson's disease compared to those who had not.

The scientists have this hypothesis that the gut proteins begin pleating in the wrong way. This genetic mistake has been carried up to the brain with the error being scattered from cell to cell. The Parkinson's disease is acquired when neurons in the brain are killed off. This leads to tremors, difficulty with movement and stiffness. This study could help in blocking off the source of the disease as it determines the foundation of the disease, according to Science Alert.

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