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Parkinson's (Yet Again) Linked to Disrupted Gut Microbial Balance

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

As a disease without a cure or means of prevention, there is a lot yet to learn about Parkinson’s and the way it takes hold in the human body. One school of thought is that it actually begins in the gut, and a new study has strengthened these ties by identifying a type of overabundant pathogen in the intestines (microbiota) of Parkinson’s patients, a novel finding that could add new urgency to this line of inquiry in understanding the root cause(s)

of the condition.

A University of Alabama neurology research team reports finding abnormally large or small populations of three clusters of bacteria in the guts of Parkinson’s patients: one, a previously reported microbe that produces short-chain fatty acids, was present in low numbers. Two others were present in higher than expected numbers.

The research, published recently in the weekly bioscience journal Nature, adds to a growing body of evidence for a brain-gut etiology in yet another neurodegenerative illness.

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