A group of researchers has found what seems to be a compelling link between the quality of human gut bacteria and the Parkinson’s disease. They suggest that a series of drastic changes in the organic composition of the gut bacteria population could promote the early signs of Parkinson’s, namely the deterioration of motor functions.
Sarkis Mazmanian is the author of the study and the lead scientists of the California Institute of Technology. There are roughly 1 million people in the U.S. alone who suffer from Parkinson’s. Worldwide, the reports suggest that 9 million more struggle with the neurodegenerative disease.
Apart from the most common indicators of Parkinson’s, shaking and difficulties individuals experience while walking, there are other affections associated with the disease. Nearly three-quarters of the patients also suffer from a wide range of gastrointestinal problems such as constipation.
The gut bacteria populations present in humans also go by the name of microbiome. These play an important role in the functionality and development of both nervous as well as immune systems. While some bacteria prove to be quite helpful, or, at least, benign, others can seriously damage the human body’s proper functioning.
According to the findings, a great deal of neurons, roughly 70 percent of the peripheral nervous system are located in the intestines. As a result, the central nervous system is closely related to the gut’s nervous system.
In order to test their theories, the scientists performed a series of experiments on lab mice. A group of healthy mice was placed in a sterile environment, safe from any disease, while the other one lived in non-sterile cages. The team of researchers injected the latter with human gut bacteria gathered from Parkinson’s patients. Then, the scientists analyzed the mice’s response to different stimuli.
Such tests involved running and climbing and descending from poles. After closely observing the performances of both groups, the scientists were able to spot some differences. The mice that have been previously injected with the gut bacteria taken from Parkinson’s patients performed worse than the ones raised in a sterile environment.
As a result, the team of researchers was able to determine that the poor quality of gut bacteria is directly linked with Parkinson’s disease. Mainly because the microbiome regulates the motor functions in the human body.
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