Taking oral antibiotics could increase your risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a new study. Researchers from the Helsinki University Hospital in Finland conducted the study.
For the study, the team studied data of 13,976 Parkinson's disease patients who were exposed to antibiotics. The team then compared that information to40,697 non-affected persons.
The team discovered broad-spectrum antibiotics and medication that tackles anaerobic bacteria and fungi has the strongest link to the disease. They also found that time of exposure is also a contributing factor. The reason for this link may be due to the drugs' disruptive effects on the gut microbial ecosystem.
"The link between antibiotic exposure and Parkinson's disease fits the current view that in a significant proportion of patients the pathology of Parkinson's may originate in the gut, possibly related to microbial changes, years before the onset of typical Parkinson motor symptoms such as slowness, muscle stiffness and shaking of the extremities," study author Filip Scheperjans, aneurologist from the Department of Neurology of Helsinki University Hospital.
Scheperjans further explained: "It was known that the bacterial composition of the intestine in Parkinson's patients is abnormal, but the cause is unclear. Our results suggest that some commonly used antibiotics, which are known to strongly influence the gut microbiota, could be a predisposing factor."
Here are some other factors that have been linked to Parkinson's disease:
* Irritable bowel syndrome
* Inflammatory bowel disease
"The discovery may also have implications for antibiotic prescribing practices in the future. In addition to the problem of antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial prescribing should also take into account their potentially long-lasting effects on the gut microbiome and the development of certain diseases," Scheperjans told a news portal.
Meanwhile, The University of Queensland researchers have developed a new therapy that could stop Parkinson's disease.
"We have used this discovery to develop improved drug candidates and hope to carry out human clinical trials in 2020," UQ Faculty of Medicine researcher Associate Professor Trent Woodruff told a news portal. Adding, "We found a key immune system target, called the NLRP3 inflammasome, lights up in Parkinson's patients, with signals found in the brain and even in the blood.
Woodruff further explained: "MCC950, given orally once a day, blocked NLRP3 activation in the brain and prevented the loss of brain cells, resulting in markedly improved motor function."
The findings of this study were originally published in Science Translational Medicine. The second-most common neurodegenerative disease across the globe is Parkinson's disease.
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