STATES CHRONICLE – A group of experts from the California Institute of Technology conducted a comprehensive study during which they found a link between Parkinson’s disease and gut bacteria.
The researchers joined their efforts with other scientists from several European institutions during the large-scale study. The experts monitored the guts of mice to see whether they play any role in influencing the development of this condition.
Also, the team used bacteria taken from Parkinson’s patients to test their effect on mice. The findings have revealed that the most efficient way to tackle this disease is to treat the patients’ guts, instead of the brain.
The scientists say that this study represents a major step forward in the development of other probiotics, much better than current ones found on the market. According to Sarkis Mazmanian, lead researcher and microbiology professor at the Institute, if their efforts pay off, they will be able to develop pills containing the bacteria needed to prevent the onset of the disease or to alleviate its symptoms.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative brain condition which causes the brain cells to accumulate tremendous amounts of alpha-synuclein, a protein which eventually kills these cells. As a consequence, the patient experiences shaking and tremors, thus losing the motor function.
When the disease progresses, the patient suffers other mental and physical effects. Around one million people across the United States, and roughly ten million throughout the world live with Parkinson’s disease. More precisely, it is the second most prevalent degenerative brain disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.
It is worth mentioning that although some experts thought at first that Parkinson’s might be influenced by family history, recent studies have shown that the development of this condition relies on several environmental factors.
In addition, it is not the first time when scientists suspect that there might be a connection between Parkinson’s and gut bacteria. Also, these microbes might trigger other devastating conditions, including multiple sclerosis.
However, there is no proof that the two might be connected. Also, this study hasn’t found a cause-and-effect link between gut bacteria and Parkinson’s disease, just that they might influence the development of this disease. The experts will continue their investigation to find out more about the effect of these microbes on the human brain.
Image Source: Vimeo