National Institute of Health found that nearly 50,000 people living in US are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year. And people suffering from Parkinson’s are numbered at 500,000 at the moment. Unfortunately, when the disease gets diagnosed, the affected brain cells have already died. This makes it even more difficult to reduce the rate of progression of the disease. Thus, researchers have started looking for other ways to detect the disease earlier. They have preceded their study further from the movement of neurons or neurotransmitters and are seeking for the main reason behind this.
After a prolonged research and observations for the reasons behind Parkinson’s, they have finally rested upon gut. Several studies are pointing out at gut. The primary problem in most of the patients began in the gastrointestinal system. Few studies even found out that alpha-synuclein protein that is abnormal for Parkinson’s. It goes from brain to stomach through vagus nerve which is an important part of parasympathetic nervous system. Dr. Scheperjans said that understanding the function of gut can help in finding out the main cause of Parkinson’s and also search for better treatments.
Many patients with Parkinson’s have been seen with gut microbiome, unnatural protein aggregates or inflammation – thus, directly hinting at the gut. There deposits of alpha-synuclein present in enteric nervous system of people suffering from Parkinson’s. Now scientists need to find out whether these deposits bear biochemical similarities with the ones present in brain. Intestinal hyperpermeability can be the reason to form those deposits. Scientists need to do further research to find out whether people suffering from Parkinson’s too have more intestinal permeability.
With all the connection between gut and Parkinson’s, researchers are excited to see what new developments would come after a few decades into this field. New studies might suggest changes in diet plans, intake of pro and pre-biotics or fecal transplants.