Nav: Home

Appendix removal tied to decreased Parkinson's disease risk in about 20 percent of cases

October 31, 2018

A large-scale epidemiological analysis of more than one million individuals from Sweden has demonstrated that removal of the appendix is associated with reduced risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) in almost 20% of cases, a finding that implicates the tiny organ as a contributor to the onset of the condition. The researchers report this finding while calling for further epidemiological studies to confirm the effect of appendectomy on PD risk. PD, a common and incurable neurodegenerative disorder, represents a massive health and financial burden in the U.S., affecting up to one million people in the U.S. and causing over $14 billion in medical expenses in the country in 2010 alone. The incidence of PD is projected to double by 2040 in the U.S., highlighting an urgent need to develop more effective interventions. Previous research has demonstrated that abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract are a common occurrence in PD and can precede motor symptoms by as many as 20 years. Here, Bryan Killinger and colleagues investigated the connection between PD and the appendix, which has been shown to contain high quantities of α-synuclein - a protein that aggregates in the brains of PD patients. They studied an epidemiological dataset containing demographic information and PD statistics on 1.6 million people in Sweden, and found that appendectomy reduced the overall risk of developing PD by 19.3%. Interestingly, appendectomy was associated with the greatest risk reduction effect among rural inhabitants, suggesting the procedure's effects potentially could counteract environmental risk factors such as exposure to pesticides, which have been linked to increased PD risk. Analysis of a second dataset of 849 PD patients revealed that appendectomy was associated with a delayed onset of PD by an average of 3.6 years later in life. Killinger et al. also examined appendixes from healthy individuals and found they contained chemically active α-synuclein that was prone to harmful aggregation. They say therapies that target α-synuclein accumulation in the appendix and gut should be investigated as a potential early intervention strategy to reduce the risk of PD later in life.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Disease Articles:

Inflammatory bowel disease appears to impact risk of Parkinson's disease
Amsterdam, NL, November 14, 2019 - Relatively new research findings indicating that the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) may occur in the gut have been gaining traction in recent years.
Contact sports associated with Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease symptoms, dementia
There is mounting evidence that repetitive head impacts from contact sports and other exposures are associated with the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia.
In kidney disease patients, illicit drug use linked with disease progression and death
Among individuals with chronic kidney disease, hard illicit drug use was associated with higher risks of kidney disease progression and early death.
Parkinson's disease among patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease appeared more likely than patients without the disorder to develop Parkinson's disease, while anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy for inflammatory bowel disease was associated with reduced incidence of Parkinson's in a new study that analyzed administrative claims data for more than 170 million patients.
Despite reductions in infectious disease mortality in US, diarrheal disease deaths on the rise
Deaths from infectious diseases have declined overall in the United States over the past three decades.
Defects on regulators of disease-causing proteins can cause neurological disease
Mutations in human PUMILIO1, a gene that regulates Ataxin1 production, cause conditions similar to spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1).
Diabetes drug shows potential as disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson's disease, a new UCL-led study in The Lancet suggests, paving the way for further research to define its efficacy and safety.
Findings support role of vascular disease in development of Alzheimer's disease
Among adults who entered a study more than 25 years ago, an increasing number of midlife vascular risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking, were associated with elevated levels of brain amyloid (protein fragments linked to Alzheimer's disease) later in life, according to a study published by JAMA.
Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease
Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the US in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Study links changes in oral microbiome with metabolic disease/risk for dental disease
A team of scientists from The Forsyth Institute and the Dasman Diabetes Institute in Kuwait have found that metabolic diseases, which are characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity -- leads to changes in oral bacteria and puts people with the disease at a greater risk for poor oral health.
More Disease News and Disease Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#542 Climate Doomsday
Have you heard? Climate change. We did it. And it's bad. It's going to be worse. We are already suffering the effects of it in many ways. How should we TALK about the dangers we are facing, though? Should we get people good and scared? Or give them hope? Or both? Host Bethany Brookshire talks with David Wallace-Wells and Sheril Kirschenbaum to find out. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. Related links: Why Climate Disasters Might Not Boost Public Engagement on Climate Change on The New York Times by Andrew Revkin The other kind...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab