Home / Biochemistry / Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease – new study

Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease – new study

Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease


Publication Date: 31 October 2018

Source: United States of America – Van Andel Research Institute (VARI)

Summary: A recent research studies suggested that the appendix may be the first point from which Parkinson’s disease is developing; as this nonfunctional part of the body acts as a reservoir of some abnormal proteins which lead to onset and progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease
Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease

 What is the Appendix?

The vermiform appendix is a small part sits at the lower right side of the abdomen attached to the end of the large intestine, Appendix is known to be nonfunctional; but there is a theory which says that appendix is the place where the beneficial bacteria are stored, where some scientists believed that appendix is just a remnant from our evolution.

There are some disease conditions which affect the appendix:

  • Appendicitis: a non-reason inflammation of the appendix
  • Cancerous or benign tumors of the appendix.

The diagnosis of the appendix diseases can be carried out depending on Medical examinations, Imaging tests, and complete blood count test which shows observed elevation in the leukocytes count than normal value.

Appendicitis and appendix tumors have only two treatment pathways which depend on antibiotics or appendectomy.

Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease

What is Parkinson’s disease?

This disease affects a part in the brain which controls the body movements, It can’t be noticed at first but over time its symptoms appear as a little shakiness in hands and by the time worsen symptoms appear which has an impact on talking, walking and sleeping.

How Parkinson’s disease affects the brain? there is an area in the brain called (substantia nigra), some cells in this area make a chemical material (Dopamine) which responsible for carrying messages around the brain parts, when you want to do any movement like kick a ball or knocking a door or other; dopamine carries a quick message to the nerve cells in substantia nigra to controls these movements.

In the patient with Parkinson’s disease the cells in substantia nigra begin to die; so the level of dopamine drops; which leads to the loss of the ability to control body movements.

for regret, there’s no vital cure to get rid of Parkinson’s disease, but the patient can take some drugs to manage the symptoms as possible.

Study story: Early removing of Appendix reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease .. How?

In the largest study that published in Science Translational Medicine journal;  It showed that the early removing of appendix reduces the chance of developing Parkinson’s disease by 19 – 25 %.

The study confirmed the role of the immune system and the gut in developing Parkinson’s disease, and it also illustrated that the appendix is the main reservoir of some proteins (folded alpha-synuclein) which linked to the start and developing of the disease.

The assistant professor at VARI/ Viviane Labrie (the senior author of the study) said that their results showed that the appendix is the origin site of Parkinson’s, so they provide a new treatment pathways that leverage the role of digestive system in Parkinson’s disease development, despite the belief that appendix is non functional; it plays an important role as a part of the immune system, because (as shown in this study) it regulates the makeup of bacteria in the gut.

 the connection between removing of Appendix and Parkinson’s disease

The study also demonstrated that the reduction in the risk of Parkinson’s only appeared when removing the appendix (and the alpha-synuclein proteins inside it) takes place early in life many years before Parkinson’s onset, where the removal of appendix after the initiation of the disease had no effect.

In general, people who underwent appendectomy were less likely to develop Parkinson’s by 19 %, while in rural places people are 25 % less likely to develop the disease. In another hand, removing appendix had no beneficial effect in people whose Parkinson’s linked to genetic disorders.

The first author of the study Bryan Killinger said that their results added very important information to understanding Parkinson’s disease exactly, he also said that their findings confirm that the appendix is a major place where alpha-synuclein proteins (which implicated in the onset of Parkinson’s disease) accumulate, and these findings will give the chance to explore new strategies for preventing and treating this complex disease.

For surprise; the research team said that alpha-synuclein proteins aggregations were also found in the appendix of both healthy people (all ages) as well as people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and these aggregates are toxins in the brain and non toxic in the appendix; so they suggested that the presence of these proteins alone cannot be the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

As a conclusion: The team of this study concluded that early removing of appendix reduce the risk of Parkinson’s, but there is another mechanism rather than alpha-synuclein proteins which must be illustrated to know the relation between early removing of the appendix and reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Reference

Bryan A. Killinger, Zachary Madaj, Jacek W. Sikora, Nolwen Rey, Alec J. Haas, Yamini Vepa, Daniel Lindqvist, Honglei Chen, Paul M. Thomas, Patrik Brundin, Lena Brundin, Viviane Labrie, “The vermiform appendix impacts the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease”. Science Translational Medicine, 2018; 10 (465): eaar5280 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar5280

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Yasmeen, (Bachelor degree + diploma in biochemistry) + (Master degree from the national institute of laser enhanced science in photobiology and cancer treatment)

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2 comments

  1. Hi, I read your research results that associate the appendix with the start of Parkinson’s. My son-in-law is 41 and has had hand tremors for several years. He had an appendectomy yesterday because of appendicitis. That is why I happened to find your research studies.
    His father had big time tremors in his 70 s and is now deceased. Do you think my son in law should be tested for Parkinson’s? I don’t want to offend him, but I am concerned.
    Thanks for any advise you can give.
    Linda

  2. Welcome Linda,

    The study results illustrated that the “early” removing of the appendix decrease the chance of getting Parkinson’s disease by nearly 19 %

    The word “early” here referring to the removal of the appendix many years before the onset of Parkinson’s.

    While its removal has no link with Parkinson’s which related to genetic disorders.

    But because your son-in-law suffer from hand tremors for many years I advise him to undergo a medical checkup

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