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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gut Inflammation May Increase Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Parkinson's disease may manifest in the gastrointestinal tract may begin in the gut long before any motor symptoms show up. 

    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--trendingtopics

    Celiac.com 12/02/2019 - Parkinson’s development can take many paths, with factors like genetics, aging, and environmental conditions all playing roles. Most people with Parkinson’s disease experience non-motor-symptoms, such as chronic constipation and/or impairment of gastrointestinal (GI) transit, long before the disease manifests clearly. Researcher Tomasza Brudek recently reviewed available medical literature for a possible link between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Parkinson's Disease.

    Brudek is affiliated with both the Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Copenhagen Center for Translational Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Build-up of α-synuclein protein in the form of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, and degeneration of substantia nigra dopamine neurons are classic clinical markers of Parkinson's Disease.

    Major features of Parkinson's Disease include inflammatory responses manifested by glial reactions, T cell infiltration, and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines, along with other toxic mediators derived from activated glial cells.

    Experimental, clinical and epidemiological data suggest that intestinal inflammation influences the development of Parkinson's Disease, while more and more studies suggest that Parkinson's disease may begin in the gut long before any motor symptoms show up.

    Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a higher risk of developing Parkinson's Disease compared with non-IBD individuals. Gene association study has found a genetic link between IBD and Parkinson's Disease, and an evidence from animal studies suggests that gut inflammation, similar to that observed in IBD, may induce loss of dopaminergic neurons.

    Based on preclinical models of Parkinson's Disease, some clinicians hypothesize that the early stages of early in Parkinson's Disease are marked by enteric microbiome changes, and gut infections triggering α-synuclein release and aggregation.

    Because gastrointestinal pathology can play such an important role in Parkinson's Disease development, there's good reason to believe that IBD and IBD treatments can influence Parkinson's Disease risk.

    This review underscores how important it is for physicians to be aware of Parkinson's Disease symptoms in IBD patients.

    Read more in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, vol. 9, no. s2, pp. S331-S344, 2019

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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