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A study shows that the intestine would be the place of origin of Parkinson's disease



Further proof of the link between the gut and psychiatric disorders has been demonstrated by researchers in Parkinson's disease, who have discovered that the molecules responsible for the disease are initially in the body of the device digestive.


Parkinson's disease is a disorder neurodegenerative affecting the motor system, and which causes tremor, a slowing of movements or even rigidity. The deterioration of the brain is caused by a bad folding of alpha-synuclein, a protein found particularly in neurons. When these proteins are malformed, they tend to aggregate together, causing damage to the nervous tissue until their death. The loss of cells affect not only the ability, but also the thinking and the emotions of the individual.

In 2003, researchers had found in people with the disease, that badly folded form of the protein was strongly present in the area of the central nervous system that control the bowel.

In addition, one of the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease is usually constipation, suggesting that the vagus nerve (the one that connects the brain and the small intestine) would be the first affected, and badly folded proteins pass through the latter for reach the brain.

With evidence of the link between Parkinson's disease and bowel being more numerous over the years, scientists from the school of medicine Johns Hopkins (in the United States) have decided to make their own experience. In the laboratory, they injected 25 micrograms of alpha-synuclein badly folded in the intestine of mice.


After samples of tissue from the brains of mice, made one, three, seven, and ten months after the injection, they found that alpha-synuclein are starting to accumulate towards the vagus then spreading to the brain.

They have then cut the vagus nerve in other mice, and then made the same Protocol as the first experience. Seven months later, no sign of dead cells were found, leaving suggest the Group cutting the nerve wave has blocked the progression of alpha-synuclein to brain.

For the second part of the research, scientists have observed if changes to the functioning of the vagus nerve had an impact on behavior. To do this, they formed three groups: the mouse with the injected badly folded alpha-synuclein, mice with the same injected protein but with the vagus nerve severed, and a group of mouse control (vagus nerve intact and without injected proteins).

Each group had to perform tasks to identify signs of Parkinson's disease, such as the construction of a nest or the discovery of a new environment. Indeed, the affected mice of the disease build smaller nests, sign of a problem at the level of the motor system.

Seven months after the injections, equipment was provided to the mouse for the construction of their nests. The researchers took notes from zero to six according to their capacity building.

Mice control groups, and those with the vagus nerve severed got often the scores of three or four, while those in the group that received the wrong folded protein (and with the intact nerve) had as a grade of zero or one. In addition, these, unlike the other two groups, never used all of the material that was provided to them.

Then comes the part "exposure to a new environment" of the study, which was intended to test their anxiety. The mice were placed in a large box open, with a camera to observe. Generally, healthy mice spent about 30 minutes to explore the Center, while those with Parkinson's disease (who had the infusion of badly folded proteins and with the intact vagus) preferred to move at the edge of the box after only 5 minutes of exploration, being much more stressed because of their declining cognitive ability.

This study shows the strong link between the brain and the gut in the case of a psychological disorder, through the vagus nerve, while the intestinal flora not there is involved (certainly). Next, researchers want to understand the mechanism by which badly folded proteins back to the brain.

" It's an exciting for this field of research, discovery, and she is a target (the vagus nerve) for early in disease intervention ', says Ted Dawson, Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University. 




Bibliography:

Transneuronal Propagation of Pathologic α-Synuclein from the Gut to the Brain Models Parkinson’s Disease
 Sangjune Kim, Seung-Hwan Kwon, Tae-In Kam, Nikhil Panicker, Senthilkumar S. Karuppagounder, Saebom Lee, Jun Hee Lee, Wonjoong Richard Kim, Minjee Kook, Catherine A. Foss, Chentian Shen, Hojae Lee, Subhash Kulkarni, Pankaj J. Pasricha, Gabsang Lee, Martin G. Pomper, Valina L. Dawson, Ted M. Dawson, Han Seok Ko,

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.05.035


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