Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

How is appendix associated with Parkinson

How is appendix associated with Parkinson

Parkinson's disease may originate deep in the digestive system, according to a new study by U.S. scientists.

Parkinson's disease has always been considered a disease of the brain, but research out Wednesday found it may start in the gut - specifically in the appendix, a tiny organ near the large intestine.

Parkinson's disease is an incurable brain disease that affects the senses, memory and mood. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there is growing evidence that the digestive system has a link to the 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.


Recent studies have found that the appendix could be a potential source for the start of Parkinson's disease, while scientists previously believed it began in the brain. It is probably the best-known vestigial organ in the human body.

It has been discovered that in Parkinson's, toxic proteins build up in the brain to destroy nerves, especially those linked with movement. However, Labrie warned that appendectomy does not guarantee that a person will not be diagnosed with Parkinson's. "That's what we plan to look at next - which factor or factors tip the scale in favor of Parkinson's. It would be much wiser to control or reduce the excessive production of alpha-synuclein to reduce its overabundance or potentially prevent it from escaping", she said.

Parkinson's United Kingdom said the findings were the most compelling evidence yet that the disease's origins lie outside the brain.

The study showed that nearly everyone in this study had alpha-synuclein protein present in their appendix. For the new study, the scientists studied the role of the appendix in Parkinson's by analysing medical records from the Swedish National Patient Registry, which contains health records on approximately 1.7 million people, and the smaller Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, which contains records on 849 Parkinson's cases.

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