Extra Dosage | Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection
This is a special bonus episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s which we are calling “Extra Dosage.” Full episodes will be release every other Wednesday. In between, Niki and I will share new information, original interviews and extra material that provide more context to topics raised in the previous episodes of the podcast. We’ll also answer your questions. Feel free to write us with questions at [email protected].
The appendix. Until November 1, 2018, I didn’t know it served a purpose in the human body. Global Newsand other news outlets around the world reported on an exciting research discoverythat people who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting Parkinson’s later in life.
After some research of my own I discovered the appendix actually helps the immune system detect and eliminate harmful microorganisms, while regulating gut bacteria.
What’s the connection to Parkinson’s? Well, it turns out a healthy appendix contains alpha-synuclein. Alpha-synuclein is the key protein that builds up in the brains of people with Parkinson’s.
The news about the appendix and Parkinson’s further confirms much discussed theories that there is a direct connection between gut health and brain health.
One of the researchers focused on better understanding the importance of gut health and our microbiome as it relates to Parkinson’s disease is Dr. Silke Cresswell. She is an assistant professor in the division of Neurology at UBC. In this Extra Dosage episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s I sat down with her at the Djavad Mowfaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC for the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre. We discuss microbiome, the appendix, diets, constipation and what she’s uncovered in her research.
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