Dysbiosis Of The Gut Microbiome Associated With Parkinson’s Disease Pathophysiology
AuthorMierau, Peyton Chase
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractIt’s often presumed that the brain is an impenetrable organ, exempt from the health effects wrought on other systems of the body. However, research has been exposing the clear association between neurological diseases and gastrointestinal (GI) health. Studies continue to demonstrate the effects of a healthy microbiome on the overall health of an individual, or conversely, the neurological implications of an imbalanced gut microbiome. While a healthy microbiome protects the body against external pathogens by serving as a physical and chemical barrier, an imbalanced microbiome allows for pathogenic invasion and inflammation which can spread as far as the brain. Parkinson’s disease (PD) has historically been viewed as a strictly neurological disorder but new research has found that imbalances in the gut microbiome have led to the expression of misfolded a-synuclein proteins. A-synuclein appears in GI cells years prior to its appearance in the brain, leading to the theory that the protein spreads via a prion like transfer from the GI tract to the brain. Should this association result from a causative relationship, PD research could be revolutionized. Instead of treating the symptoms of the disease, researchers could focus their attention on culling the disease at its origin; the gut microbiome.