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Parkinson’s disease linked to gut bacteria

Doctors have been trying to find the cause of Parkinson’s for many years and it is still a mystery. When the legendary boxer Muhammed Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson´s disease, it was the general belief that boxing and countless hits to the head had caused him to develop Parkinson´s disease.

muhammad-aliHowever, last year his personal doctor announced that there is no proof of boxing being the cause of the disease. As a matter of fact, boxers like George Foreman who had a longer boxing career than Muhammed, never showed any symptoms of Parkinson´s disease and he is still going strong today.

Parkinson’s is a condition that is caused by loss of specific cells that produce dopamine, which can give the patient problems with: trembling, stiffness, slow movement, balance and coordination. Normally people don’t show symptoms before the age of 50. In the US alone over 1 million people are suffering with this condition.

A new study show that Parkinson’s is possibly originated in the gut, certain types of bacteria that has only been found in patients with Parkinson’s has been linked to how the disease was originated. The results of these studies suggest that identifying which gut bacteria you have, can help to improve the prognosis and treatment of Parkinson’s. A group of Doctors in Finland worked on a research that showed how these bacteria had a very large impact on your health, this proved that some bacteria interacts with parts of the nervous system via different paths such as the enteric nervous system.

Dr. Filip Scheperjans, a neurologist from Helsinki University Hospital, says: “Our most important observation was that patient with Parkinson’s have much less bacteria from the Prevotellaceae family; unlike the control group, practically no one in the patient group has a large quantity of bacteria from this group.”gut-feeling

The research is very promising and although the direct cause of Parkinson’s has not been found, it has the potential to finally find the source of what is causing Parkinson’s. Not only has it been proven that people who suffer from balance and walking problems have a higher level of Enterobacteriaceae, but they also tend to have gastrointestinal dysfunction. This does not mean we can prevent Parkinson’s by monitoring and changing our diet, however this research is another reason not to ignore our nutritional status and not to accept poor digestion as the norm.

If you have digestive problems or need to learn how to control your eating habits better, please call for an appointment with our nutritionist.