Chasing the ‘perplexing’ link between appendectomies and Parkinson’s disease

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Image: Reuters

New research has found a perplexing, though relatively small link between the devastating neurological illness Parkinson’s disease and having your appendix removed. But it’s still unclear just what exactly this could mean, and it’s definitely not a reason to avoid an appendectomy if you need one.

Some research, however, has shown that [an] abnormal protein isn’t just found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s, but is in their guts as well. That’s led to a theory that the gut—already known to affect the brain and vice-versa—could play a crucial role in the disease’s development.

October [2018], researchers studied population data from more than a million Swedish residents and found that people who had their appendix removed were slightly less likely to develop Parkinson’s. But other research has shown that there were no clear link between the two events.

Related article:  Pregnancy, motherhood may give a boost to women's brains, making them 'younger'

So Gregory Cooper and his team at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio decided to look with an even bigger microscope. They studied the electronic health records of more than 62 million Americans. Contrary to the October study, though, they spotted an increased risk of Parkinson’s among those who had their appendix removed, roughly three times higher.

Read full, original post: Yet More Research Links Appendectomies and Parkinson’s Disease

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