Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s

  • Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s

Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s

"Among people who did develop Parkinson's disease, we found that the age of onset was delayed by an appendectomy on average by 3.6 years", study author Viviane Labrie, assistant professor at Van Andel Research Institute in MI, said during a conference call with reporters.

In Parkinson's disease, toxic proteins accumulate in the brain and kill nerves, especially those linked to movement.

Parkinson's disease has always been considered a disease of the brain, but research out Wednesday found it may start in the gut - specifically in the appendix, a tiny organ near the large intestine.

Recent studies have found that the appendix could be a potential source for the start of Parkinson's disease, while scientists previously believed it began in the brain.

And the risk of development of Parkinson's disease was less than nineteen percent, than those who experienced appendicitis. One possibility is that Parkinson's is triggered in the rare events when the protein escapes the appendix and travels up the vagus nerve, which links the gut to the brain stem.

Viviane Labrie, one of the researchers, stressed that she does not recommend that people remove this organ.

These proteins are found in the appendix.

The researchers unexpectedly discovered the abnormal form of the α-synuclein protein, not only in the appendixes of Parkinson's patients, but also in healthy individuals. Additionally, he would have liked to see more information on how the age when the appendectomy was performed changed the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, as well as potential reasons for the differing effect in rural areas. Labrie said that the appendix was just one possible place for the disease to start, but there are likely other origin points. Professionals at the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan, USA, analyzed data from 1.7 million people.

"Despite having a reputation as largely unnecessary, the appendix actually plays a major part in our immune systems, in regulating the makeup of our gut bacteria and now, as shown by our work, in Parkinson's disease".

So, it's not a cure, but it's a fascinating new avenue for research.