A study places the gut microbiome at the center of the origin of Parkinson's

A study places the gut microbiome at the center of the origin of Parkinson’s

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Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (United States) has concluded that the gut microbiome is involved in multiple pathways in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.

The findings, published in the scientific journal ‘Nature Communications’, show a wide imbalance in the composition of the microbiome in people with Parkinson’s disease. This study on the microbiome is the largest conducted at the highest resolution.

The researchers employed metagenomics, the study of genetic material recovered directly from the microbiome of the feces of people with Parkinson’s and neurologically healthy control subjects.

“The primary goal of this study was to generate a comprehensive and undisturbed picture of the gut microbiome imbalance in Parkinson’s. We found evidence for multiple mechanisms that we know are linked to Parkinson’s, but we didn’t know were also occurring in the gut and are orchestrated by the microbiome,” explained Haydeh Payami, lead author of the study.

The researchers found an overabundance of opportunistic pathogens and immunogenic components, suggesting infection and inflammation at play, overproduction of toxic molecules, and an overabundance of curli bacterial product.

This induces Parkinson’s disease and dysregulation of neurotransmitters, including L-dopa. At the same time, neuroprotective molecules and anti-inflammatory components are in short supply, making recovery difficult.

Payami and his team recruited 490 people with Parkinson’s disease and 234 healthy controls. Slightly more than half of the subjects were male and predominantly older than 50 years. All came from the Deep South region of the United States, which helped eliminate confusion over geographic and cultural influences on microbiome composition.

The researchers studied 257 species of organisms in the microbiome, and of these, the analysis indicated that 84, more than 30 percent, were associated with Parkinson’s disease.

“Of the 84 Parkinson’s-associated species, 55 were abnormally high in abundance in people with Parkinson’s, and 29 were depleted. We found that more than 30 percent of the microorganisms and bacterial genes and pathways tested have altered abundances in Parkinson’s disease,” which indicates a generalized imbalance,” Payami argued.

At one end of the spectrum, Bifidobacterium dentium rose seven times, Actinomyces oris 6.5 times and Streptococcus mutans six times. At the other end of the spectrum, ‘Roseburia intestinalis’ was reduced 7.5 times and ‘Blautia wexlerae’ five times.

Overall, 36 percent of Parkinson’s-associated species had a more than two-fold change in abundance, reflecting a 100 to 750 percent increase or decrease in Parkinson’s compared to the control group. healthy.

“This study has created a large dataset at the highest resolution currently possible and made it public without restrictions to promote open science. It includes extensive metadata on 490 people with Parkinson’s, the largest Parkinson’s cohort with microbiome data, and a unique cohort of 234 neurologically healthy elderly, which can be used in a wide range of studies.We have shown that there is a pervasive imbalance in the Parkinson’s metagenome, creating an environment that is permissive for neurodegenerative events and prohibitive for recovery “, Payami has highlighted.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressively debilitating disorder that affected 4 million people in 2005 and is projected to double to 8.7 million by the year 2030. Although historically defined as a movement disorder, Parkinson’s is a multisystem disease.

It is speculated that Parkinson’s is caused by various combinations of genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers, although no causal combination has yet been identified. The connection between Parkinson’s and the gastrointestinal system has been long established.

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