No appendix? Your risk of Parkinson's is reduced by more than 20%

Parkinson's-inducing protein in the gut points to possible link between gastrointestinal tract and disease

Scientists from the Van Andel Research Institute in MI examined data on 1.7 million people in Sweden and found that having an appendectomy is linked to a 19.3 percent reduced risk of developing Parkinson's in a general population.

This is amounts to a 16.9% decrease in the odds of acquiring the disease-but in absolutes, that's the difference between an 0.14 per cent chance of acquiring the disease for those who hadn't gotten their appendix removed versus an 0.11 per cent chance for those who had. A new study revealed that people who had appendectomy early in life have reduced risks of getting the neurodegenerative disease.

Although they do not advise that people go and have their appendix removed, as this is not a sure protection against Parkinson's disease. And made the notice published in the American medical journal "Science Translational Medicine", confirmed that the gut and the immune system plays a role in triggering Parkinson's disease.

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Researchers who sorted through existing health records found that people who had their appendix removed are 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with the neurodegenerative diseases later in life.

Toxic proteins found in the appendix such as alpha synuclein build up in the brain and kill nerves; it is possible for these toxic proteins to travel from the GI tract via the vagus nerve to reach the brain. Although the appendix has gained a reputation of being redundant, in fact plays an important role in our immune system, regulating the bacteria in our gut and, is playing a role in Parkinson's disease. "That's what we plan to look at next - which factor or factors tip the scale in favor of Parkinson's". People with Parkinson's disease have clumps in their brains called "Lewy bodies", which contain substances including alpha-synuclein. The vestigial organ, the researchers say, could be the source of proteins that can find their way to the brain and once there, extend a deadly grip on nerve cells. While existing drugs help to control its symptoms, there are now none available that slow or halt its progression.

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