The incurable Parkinson's disease is associated with the accumulation in the brain of toxic forms of the alpha synuclein protein, which destroys nerve cells. However, many experts are sure that the roots of the disease should not be sought in the brain, but in the intestine.
New arguments in favor of the intestinal origin of Parkinson's disease have been presented by scientists from Aarhus University, Science Daily reported.
In the study, genetically modified rats predisposed to this disease were injected with alpha synuclein in the small intestine.
Two months later, the toxic form of the protein entered the brain via peripheral nerves, and after four pathologies in the brain became apparent. Traces of alpha synuclein were found in the nervous system of the heart.
Parkinson's disease does not develop in humans as fast as in rodents. According to the authors, up to twenty years can pass between the accumulation of toxic proteins in the intestine and abnormalities in the brain. This gives hope for an early diagnosis of the disease, which will give time to slow down the rate of neurodegeneration.
This summer, another team of researchers based in the US independently came to similar conclusions. Like their Danish counterparts, they injected toxic alpha-synculein into the rodents' intestines, and after a few months found it in the brain.