Scientific Breakthroughs

Researchers Say There’s a Possible Link Between Gut Microbes and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease
Palliative medicine helps ease suffering of patients and their families.

Researchers recently uncovered an interesting new finding that can lead to treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, currently the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States. It also brings to light Parkinson’s disease causes and risk factors.

Looking at gut bacteria just may be a surefire way for doctors to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more accurately. Those disorders include Parkinson’s disease.

Using mice studies, researchers, led by Sarkis Mazmanian of the California Institute of Technology, uncovered the link between the germs in the gut and the disease in the brain. It turns out gut microbes just may play a critical role in the development of Parkinson’s-like movement disorders, a recently published research bared.

The findings unearthed can possibly lead to new treatment strategies for those afflicted with the neurodegenerative disease that ails many people.

Link Between Intestinal Bacteria and Disorders of the Brain

Researchers have long been deciphering connections between intestinal bacteria and severe anxiety or depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism and Alzheimer’s  disease, to name some disorders. Some medical experts chalk up this link to the intestinal bacteria’s ability to make small molecules that can reach the brain and have an impact on how it works.

A clear-cut illustration is a related study conducted by a different team of researchers, who found that a common bacterium that affected a person’s stomach was linked to worsened symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

A Healthy & Varied Diet Helps

Doctors who have known the link and are helping patients understand as well as deal with Parkinsons disease causes and risk factors are inclined to recommend a long-term dietary change. A healthier and more diverse diet can help.

Making the switch from a high-fat, high-sugar diet to a leaner, more high-fiber diet can reshape the microbiome, giving it a healthier profile,  said Joseph Petrosino, PhD,  director of Baylor College of Medicine’s Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research.

Indeed, understanding the microbiome not only underscores the importance of diet coupled with appropriate exercise. It can also lead to advances in medical treatment for brain-related illnesses.

With the new year in our midst, it is high time we exert effort to reset our lifestyles with healthier decisions, beginning with imparting sound knowledge and helpful insights handed down by experts in the medical profession.

Photo Source: Baylor College of Medicine/Twitter

About the author

To Top