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Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.

In their study, people whose appendix had been removed were less likely to develop the neurodegenerative disease.

And the appendix, long thought of as pointless in the human body, contained the substance that kills brain cells.

Parkinson’s UK said the findings were the most compelling evidence yet that the disease’s origins lie outside the brain.

In Parkinson’s, toxic proteins build up in the brain to kill nerves, particularly those linked with movement.

  • Parkinson’s disease is incurable
  • It affects 128,000 people in the UK
  • As well as damaging movement, it affects the senses, memory and mood

It might feel counter-intuitive, but there is now growing evidence that the gut is involved.

Researchers at the Van Andel Research Institute, in Michigan, looked at data on 1.7 million people over half a century.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed the risk of Parkinson’s was 20% lower in the people who had had their appendix removed. Read more

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Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.

Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.

Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.

Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.

Parkinson disease ‘may’ start in gut

The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say.