Parkinson’s is not in the brain; starts in the gut

Scientists have obtained new findings that Parkinson’s disease begins to spread in the digestive tract before the brain.

It was observed that the probability of developing Parkinson’s decreased by 40 percent in patients who underwent a surgery called truncal vagotomy and removed the vagus nerve, which provides communication between the digestive system and the brain.

The five-year research by a team led by Bojing Liu at the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden supports other previous studies that claim the onset of Parkinson’s occurs in our womb. If we can solve the effect of the connection between the digestive system and the brain on Parkinson’s, we will have a higher chance of preventing the disease.

Proves Parkinson-gut relationship

“These results provide the first evidence that Parkinson’s may start in the gut,” said Liu. Another hypothesis is that people with Parkinson’s often have digestive issues such as constipation. These problems can appear decades before the disease appears.” says.

The vagus nerve helps control various unconscious processes such as heart rate and digestion. Generally, if the patient’s stomach produces dangerous levels of acid, some parts of this nerve may need to be removed during the surgery to remove the ulcer.

For this study, the researchers examined 40 years of Swedish national records. In the records, 9,430 people who had vagotomy were compared with 377,200 people from the general population. Initially, the odds of both groups developing Parkinson’s disease were close to each other. But when researchers later looked at people who had truncal (full) vagotomy surgery, they found that only 19 (0.78 percent) of them developed Parkinson’s within five years of surgery. In the same period, 1.08 percent (60 people) of patients who underwent partial vagotomy were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. In people who did not undergo these surgeries, the rate of developing Parkinson’s was determined as 1.15 percent. These results indicate that the vagus nerve has a role in the spread of Parkinson’s.

One hypothesis is that proteins begin to fold incorrectly in the intestines. This genetic error then reaches the brain, via the vagus nerve or otherwise, and spreads from cell to cell.

Finding the cause of illness can help prevent illness

Parkinson’s occurs when neurons in the brain die. This causes tremors, convulsions, and difficulty moving. But scientists aren’t sure how this situation came about. New research provides insight into where to look to find the cause of the disease.

The latest research in Sweden is not the only one to reveal the relationship between Parkinson’s and the digestive system. In 2016, tests on mice also indicated that gut bacteria play a role in the development of Parkinson’s. In 2017, a study conducted in the USA showed the difference between the gut bacteria of people with Parkinson’s and the bacteria of people who do not have the disease.

All of this helps scientists work to prevent Parkinson’s because if we can find the starting point, we can stop the disease where it starts. However, scientists state that Parkinson’s is not a simple disease with a single cause, and point out that more comprehensive studies should be done by considering different variables.

Source: Science Alert

It was observed that the probability of developing Parkinson’s decreased by 40 percent in patients who underwent a surgery called truncal vagotomy and removed the vagus nerve, which provides communication between the digestive system and the brain. Reducing the risk of Parkinson’s by eliminating the relationship between the gut and the brain, supporting the idea that the disease originated in the gut before the brain. If scientists can identify the source of the disease, it will be much easier to prevent the disease, he says. But Parkinson’s is not a simple disease with a single cause. Therefore, more extensive research is required.

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