Parkinson’s hope when scientists discover that a probiotic can stop and even REVERT the accumulation of toxic groups in the brain that cause tremors
- The bacillus subtilis probiotic prevented the formation of toxic groups of proteins
- Alpha-synuclein blocks the production of dopamine, which controls movement
- The activists said the findings were “exciting” as they highlight the link with the intestine.
Research suggests that a common intestinal bacteria could delay, and even reverse, the accumulation of a Parkinson’s-linked protein.
The scientists found that bacillus subtilis, a probiotic, blocked the formation of toxic groups that deprive the brain of dopamine in people with this condition.
The chemical allows messages to be sent to and from regions of the brain that coordinate movement.
It is believed that microorganisms in the intestine play a role in the onset of Parkinson’s in some cases.
Explain why three quarters of patients have gastrointestinal abnormalities (GI), and many complain of constipation.
It is believed that Bacillus subtilis prevents and eliminates the accumulation of alpha-synuclein proteins by rebalancing the intestinal microbiome.
Research suggests that a common bacterium that stimulates digestive health can delay, and even reverse, the accumulation of a protein related to Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Dundee say the ‘exciting’ finding could pave the way for future studies that evaluate how supplements affect the incurable condition.
In the brains of people with Parkinson’s, the alpha-synuclein protein folds badly and builds up, forming toxic groups.
These plaques are associated with the death of nerve cells responsible for producing dopamine.
WHAT IS PARKINSON’S?
Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, and about 127,000 people in the UK live with this condition.
The figures also suggest that one million Americans also suffer.
It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, a deteriorated quality of life and can lead to serious disability.
It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.
It is known that victims have decreased dopamine supplies because the nerve cells that produce it have died.
There is currently no cure and there is no way to stop the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try to change that.
The disease claimed the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 2016.
The loss of these cells causes the motor symptoms associated with the disease, which include freezing, trembling and slow movement.
In their latest study, the team fed over-the-counter probiotics containing bacillus subtilis to small round worms that had been injected with the human gene for Parkinson’s.
They discovered that bacillus subtilis had a protective effect against the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and also eliminated some of the groups already formed. This improved movement symptoms in roundworms.
The principal investigator, Dr. Maria Doitsidou, said: ‘The results provide an opportunity to investigate how changing the bacteria that make up our gut microbiome affects Parkinson’s.
“The next steps are to confirm these results in mice, followed by accelerated clinical trials since the probiotic we tested is already commercially available.”
Dr. Beckie Port, Parkinson’s research manager in the United Kingdom, who funded the study, said: ‘Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world.
‘Currently there is no treatment that can delay, reverse or protect someone from its progression, but by financing projects like this, we anticipate the day there will be.
‘It is believed that changes in the microorganisms in the intestine play a role in the onset of Parkinson’s in some cases and are related to certain symptoms, so there is ongoing research on intestinal health and probiotics.
“The results of this study are exciting, as they show a link between the bacteria in the intestine and the protein in the heart of Parkinson’s.”
It is the latest in a series of recent studies that have found a link between brain function and the thousands of different types of bacteria that live in the digestive system, known as the intestinal microbiome.
Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, and about 145,000 people in the UK live with this condition. In the United States that number is almost one million.