Wednesday, December 7, 2016
New evidence suggests Parkinson's might start in the gut, not the brain
A new study adds to a growing body of research that suggests we might have been thinking about Parkinson’s disease wrong this whole time. Instead of being isolated to the brain, new evidence in mice suggests that the condition might actually start in the gut. And it could explain some of the strange coincidences seen in the disease, such as why most Parkinson’s patients complain of constipation up to a decade before other symptoms arise.
Parkinson’s disease is most commonly associated with tremors, stiffness, and difficulty moving, caused by neurons deep in the brain being killed off. Although there are treatments to slow the progress of the condition, there’s no way to prevent or cure it, and researchers still don’t really understand what causes it and how it progresses.
For years, scientists have limited the search for the cause of Parkinson’s to the brain, but a growing body of evidence suggests that might be the wrong approach.