The most recent study, published in Cell, gave unexpected results in terms of beginning of Parkinson’s disease. It was thought that the beginning of Parkinson’s is in the brain, until now. New evidence suggests the possibility that everything starts from the gut. This research might be supported by the fact that most of the Parkinson’s patients have complaints of constipation, years before other symptoms appear. Also, the loss of smell, as an early Parkinson’s symptom, can be connected with this, given that the nose and gut are two organs where nerve cells are exposed to the outside world – which is potentially an opened door for various toxins and microbes.
As it is already known, Parkinson’s disease is neuro disorder, which manifests itself in the psychomotor level in the following syndrome: tremor, akinesia, characteristic facial numbness and chronic fatigue, usually accompanied by mental disorders, frequently depression and hypochondria. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is generally unknown but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors – those who have family members with Parkinson’s or exposed to the certain pesticides are at increased risk for this condition. Knowing the location of the first strike allows for early detection and treatment. The most of the time, scientist believed that the origin of the disease is in the brain, but the latest results have shown a different picture.
Everything begins a decade ago when pathologists reported seeing the distinctive synuclein fibres in nerves of the gut during autopsies. It was the first clue that led the researchers to the different approach. Now the toxic fibres, made of an alpha-synuclein, are injected into the gut of mice and have been tracked as they spread up nerves from the gut to the brain. After three weeks, the fibres reach the base of the brain and two months later, they reach the part of the brain that controls movement. This fibre traveling has reduced the mobility of the mice. Now, the biological link between the gut bacteria and Parkinson’s disease has been established. This eureka moment is a paradigm shift and opens entirely new possibilities for treating patients, said senior study author Sarkis Mazmanian.
Of course, a lot more research still needs to be done to confirm those results. This is just a first promising step and it will take many years to translate this work from mice to humans.