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A probiotic could be the route to alleviate Parkinson's

Gut health

Gut health may help in treating degenerative disease.

13 March 2020

A research team has found that the probiotic Bacillus subtilis (B.subtilis) strain PXN21 could slow and even reverse the build-up of a protein associated with Parkinson’s Disease. It was found that B.subtilis prevents the accumulation of the protein α-synuclein (α-syn) in roundworms.

Parkinson’s Disease is characterised by a build-up of α-syn which aggregates into toxic clumps linked to the death of dopamine producing nerve cells. The lack of dopamine leads to the dementia-related symptoms seen in Parkinson’s Disease. The probiotic was isolated from a range of ‘off-the-shelf’ probiotic products and fed one at a time to roundworms that produces α-syn.

The next steps are to confirm the findings in mice, followed by ‘fast-tracked’ clinical trials since the probiotic tested is already commercially available.  Currently patients with Parkinson’s Disease do not routinely undergo gut microbiome screening. But researchers say that it is conceivable that in the future microbiota screening may be predictive of the development of specific symptoms or inform the course of treatment.

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