Removing The Appendix Could Reduce The Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's-inducing protein in the gut points to possible link between gastrointestinal tract and disease

Parkinson's-inducing protein in the gut points to possible link between gastrointestinal tract and disease

According to studies conducted in the U.S., the disease possibly starts from the appendix and those who have removed theirs are less prone to develop the disease.

Parkinson's disease is an incurable brain disease that affects the senses, memory and mood.

A Wednesday report claimed that there is a lower risk of getting Parkinson's decades after people have had their appendix removed.

It is the first time that scientists associate Parkinson to the instrument body, which appears to act as a "reservoir" for abnormal neuronal proteins (alpha-synuclein) associated with the onset and exacerbation of disease.

However, the search for the origins of Parkinson's still has not made it clear why the disease develops in some people but not others.

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The same abnormally folded proteins are also found in people that are not diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease. 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.

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.

The disorder now is an incurable neurodegenerative disease accompanied with tremors, balance issues, and gastrointestinal problems, which seems to be more common among those living in rural areas. "The findings suggest that the appendix might be important in the early events or possibly in the initiation of this disease", said Labrie.

The appendix has a reputation for being unnecessary, but it does play roles in the immune system, in regulating makeup of gut bacteria, and now this study shows it also plays roles in Parkinson's disease.

"We're not saying to go out and get an appendectomy", said Viviane Labrie of Michigan's Van Andel Research Institute.

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