It’s not a cure, but it makes a significant difference in your chances.
The human body is full of wonders…and things that can take life down the wrong path. Including your appendix.
A team of scientists from the U.S has discovered that people who have their appendix removed are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. In fact, the risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease is 20% lower in people in this group.
Why? Scientists don’t really know, but they can now see that the gut is a breeding ground for Parkinson’s. It all has to with a toxic protein called alpha-synuclein, that builds up in the appendix, and then travels up the vagus nerve into the brain, in some people.
The interesting thing is that almost everyone tested in the study done by researchers at the Van Andel Research Institute, in Michigan, was found to have the offending protein in their gut. In those who have Parkinson’s disease, the structure of the toxic protein is different, however.
How we get from A to B remains unknown.
Should you have your appendix out? Researchers quoted on BBC.com are advising against it.
“We’re not advocating appendectomy as a form of protecting against Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Viviane Labrie, a researcher involved in the study. Not everyone with the protein (just about all of us) develops Parkinson’s, and so removal of the appendix isn’t a sure-fire cure.
The study involved an analysis of data on 1.7 million people over 50 years.
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