Click the play button for the audio version of this Research Summary
Understanding the role of appendix removal and risk for Parkinson’s
Why is it important?
- Novelty 75% 75%
- Proximity 90% 90%
- Deliverability 80% 80%
Given its role in immune function, exposure to pathogens, and increasing evidence that misfolded alpha-synuclein – a major suspected pathological culprit in Parkinson’s – is also found in the gut, several studies have asked whether removal of the appendix affects the risk for Parkinson’s.
The researchers also reported that abnormally folded alpha-synuclein could be found in tissue samples of appendices from 46 out of the 48 healthy individuals who were biopsied, ranging in age from younger than 20 to 84 years old. They also found that when extracts of this appendix tissue was mixed with normal alpha-synuclein, the normal version of the protein became abnormally misfolded into the conformation that damages neurons in Parkinson’s.
Where can I learn more?
Palacios, N., Hughes, K. C., Cereda, E., Schwarzschild, M. A., & Ascherio, A. (2018). Appendectomy and risk of Parkinson’s disease in two large prospective cohorts of men and women. Mov Disord, 33(9), 1492-1496 – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mds.109
Svensson, E., Horvath-Puho, E., Stokholm, M. G., Sorensen, H. T., Henderson, V. W., & Borghammer, P. (2016). Appendectomy and risk of Parkinson’s disease: A nationwide cohort study with more than 10 years of follow-up. Mov Disord, 31(12), 1918-1922 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27621223