Scientific breakthrough reveals strong link between gut bacteria and Parkinson’s disease
A new study by experts from the University of Surrey warns that Parkinson’s disease can start in the gut and spread to the brain.
The researchers found that more than 30% of the bacteria in the guts of people living with the disease were different from bacteria without the disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition in which parts of the brain become more damaged (missing nerve cells) over many years.
Study author Dr Ace Demircan, an expert in artificial intelligence science at the University of Surrey, said: “Parkinson’s disease is increasing faster than any other neurological disorder worldwide.
In fact, she noted, “Over the past 25 years, the number of diagnosed cases has doubled. This is very worrying as there is no known cure. However, the more we know about the causes of the disease, the more we become familiar with the development of new treatments.” .”
She added: “Previous research in this area has pointed to a possible link between gut bacteria and disease, but these studies were small and used outdated methodologies.”
For the new study, Dr. Demirkan and her colleagues recruited 724 people, 490 of whom had Parkinson’s disease and the rest were neurologically healthy. Each patient not only provided medical information about themselves, but also provided a stool sample for analysis, creating the largest dataset of such information collected to date.
Analysis of stool samples has shown that the bacteria, genes and biological pathways in the gut of people with Parkinson’s disease differ by more than 30% from those without the disease.
One difference is, for example, the bacterial species Bifidobacterium dentium, which is known to cause anaerobic infections such as brain abscesses.
The team found that levels of B. dentium were seven times higher in stool samples from Parkinson’s patients.
In contrast, the analysis also revealed a 7.5-fold reduction in bacterial species such as Roseburia coli, which are normally only found in a healthy colon.
The researchers noted that constipation is a known symptom of Parkinson’s disease. The study also identified a group of infection-causing bacteria, specifically Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Klebsiella Quaspneumoniae, which also appear to be elevated in people with Parkinson’s disease.
“The composition of gut bacteria in people with Parkinson’s disease consists of predominant pathogens and bacteria that can trigger immune responses among several other mechanisms,” said Dr. Dermirkan.
She added that these mechanisms involve “different pathways of bacterial metabolism that show us the complex interface of disturbances in the gut. However, our current study is not intended to answer the question of whether the bacteria themselves are the main cause of the disease, and some of them may also be a consequence of the disease or may be affected by the human genetic structure.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are various treatments and medications that can be taken to control symptoms, which can include tremors, muscle stiffness, and lack of movement.
A wide range of research is currently underway to try to determine why Parkinson’s disease affects some people, as well as to try to find a cure.