There are a lot of neurodegenerative affections that will occur especially among the elderly, but Parkinson disease is definitely the most feared of them all. It occurs in the central nervous system, the symptoms build up gradually over years and there is no cure for it.
The symptoms are debilitating and could end up even generating a depression in most of the cases. Although there are several drugs being used to treat it, none are efficient in repelling the disease itself, but only to cut down on the symptoms and allow the patient for a better overall functioning.
Once the condition begins to catch shape, though, little can be done to restore the human being too normal. And what is more important is that there is no definitive cause related to Parkinson disease.
The trigger is generally unknown, but there are factors which may cause it, like genetic inheritance and environmental effects. At a biological level, though, the actual culprits and its mechanism are a mystery. Or are they?
The latest studies on the subject revealed a potential biological cause of Parkinson disease that researchers may have failed to identify for a long time – the gut bacteria.
The gut flora is made of microorganisms, both harmful and beneficial alike and the balance between them is essential to keep the body in full operating conditions. Ideally, the good bacteria that deliver their known probiotic effects, must for the majority of the agents in the digestive tract, otherwise there is the danger of developing certain health problems.
The benefits of probiotics are diverse and include:
Now, it seems like other interesting effects have been noticed in relation to these bacteria’s influence on Parkinson disease. Even though these bacteria live inside the digestive tract, their influence can be observed at brain level as well, which is why they are often used in enhancing the brain’s functioning altogether.
And the brain is the one that gets affected when struck by Parkinson disease, leading to member tremor, difficulties during walking and generally impaired motor functioning.
The studies that have been taken at a university in California showed that it is possible that there is a connection between Parkinson disease and the gut flora in the affected patient. In this regard, they artificially induced the disease in laboratory mice, by producing the alpha-synuclein protein in excess. This is one of the main culprits in triggering the disease and causing brain damages in those affected.
The interesting aspect is that only mice with well-developed gut microbiota encountered symptoms and gradually developed the condition. Those who have been gut-sterilized in the beginning had no such problems during the procedure and the symptoms lacked completely in their case. The tests have been replicated several times, using genetically identical test subjects and the results matched on each occasion.
This shows that the presence of gut bacteria greatly influenced the development of Parkinson disease due to the chemicals they release during the digestion. These chemicals often reach the brain through the bloodstream and, when the right factors are achieved, can participate in brain cellular damages, one of the triggers in the case of Parkinson disease.
This degenerative affection has no known effective treatment. All we have now is the ability to keep the symptoms under control and prevent them from going haywire. The new findings, however, could shed a new light on the matter and may even lead to the discovery of actual effective treatments against this disease. And, with the new breakthroughs, everything seems to be revolving around probiotics.
Eliminating gut bacteria from the organism is unrealistic and dangerous at the same time because they play a major role in the overall functioning of the body. But it represents a glimmer of hope for future tests. Some suggest that probiotics could actually make part of the treatment or aid in developing experimental drugs to completely wipe out the disease altogether.
But there is another problem. Although it has been established that digestive microbial agents are involved in causing some of the Parkinson disease’s symptoms, the entire mechanism of functioning remains largely unknown, which is why drawing conclusions may be premature at this point. But the cornerstone has been turned and the future seems promising for now.