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New Study Reveals Genetic Connection Between Parkinson’s and Digestive Woes

Daniel Kim Views  

A new study has revealed a genetic link between Parkinson’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The study published in Genome Medicine has revealed genetic links that support the correlation between Parkinson’s disease and IBD.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative brain disorder after dementia and is known to be caused by a deficiency of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain circuit. Muscle tremors and instability in posture are typical symptoms impairing the ability to perform precise movements. Furthermore, the fundamental cause of dopamine deficiency is still unknown.

On the other hand, IBD triggers abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation due to abnormalities in the digestive system.

Although these two diseases may seem unrelated, they influence each other via the gut-brain axis mechanism.

The research team explained that one key characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is the accumulation of Lewy bodies in the brain. Lewy bodies are abnormal protein aggregates composed of alpha-synuclein protein.

However, while this protein accumulation is a clear sign of Parkinson’s disease, it is still uncertain whether the Lewy bodies themselves are toxic or if their accumulation is part of the human immune function.

Dr. Daniel D. Truong, the editor of a Parkinson’s disease-related journal, explained that the accumulation of alpha-synuclein supports the hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut and spread to the brain via the vagus nerve.

To find genetic links that could support the correlation between Parkinson’s disease and IBD, the research team analyzed the relationship between the LRRK2 gene and IBD and Parkinson’s disease. The team examined the entire genome of 67 individuals suffering from IBD and Parkinson’s disease.

The analysis confirmed that a particular variant of LRRK2 is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and IBD.

The researchers concluded that they have found genetic links supporting the correlation between Parkinson’s disease and IBD.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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