Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
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Lower Risk For Parkinson's Of Over 20%?

Lower Risk For Parkinson's Of Over 20%?

No appendix? Your risk of Parkinson's is reduced by more than 20% Having your appendix removed comes with an unexpected advantage; scientists have discovered that an appendectomy reduces the risk of Parkinson's by up to 25 percent.

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

In their study, people whose appendix had been removed were less likely to develop the neurodegenerative disease.

The reasoning is due to surgically removed appendix tissue becoming a storage space for abnormal protein that, if it makes its way to the brain, becomes the trademark of the tremor-inducing brain disease. "That's what we plan to look at next - which factor or factors tip the scale in favor of Parkinson's".

Parkinson's United Kingdom said the findings were the most compelling evidence yet that the disease's origins lie outside the brain.

The scientists also studied healthy appendices and found high levels of a protein similar to one that is found in the brains of people with Parkinson's, suggesting that the appendix may serve as a reservoir for this protein and contribute to the development of Parkinson's.

But why? The team further analysed surgical human appendix samples and found that they contained alpha-synuclein proteins-including shortened and mis-folded alpha-synucleins like the ones found in Lewy bodies.

University of Pennsylvania neuroscience and geriatric medicine professor John Trojanowski, who was not involved in the study, thought it was excellently done and agreed with the paper's statement that the appendix is a source of mis-folded alpha-synuclein that could be targeted for therapeutic strategies. He said he found the study results convincing. For those living in rural areas it was even more advantageous, as there was a 25-percent reduction in disease risk, the reveals. "The findings suggest that the appendix might be important in the early events or possibly in the initiation of this disease", said Labrie. Statistics showed that half a million of the risk had no problem with the Appendix. That's a subject for future study.

"We're not saying to go out and get an appendectomy", said Viviane Labrie of Michigan's Van Andel Research Institute.

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

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