December 12, 2018 12:27 pm

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s Podcast Recap — Understanding the gut-brain connection

This microscope image provided by the Van Andel Research Institute in October 2018 shows an abnormal protein that is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease clumped inside the appendix.

(Van Andel Research Institute via AP
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This is a special bonus episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast 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 parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca.

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The appendix. Until Nov. 1, 2018, I didn’t know it served a purpose in the human body. Then Global News and other news outlets around the world reported on an exciting research discovery that people who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting Parkinson’s later in life.

READ MORE: Appendix removal linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease: study

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.

If you have a comment or question about the podcast, you can email us: parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca

Follow me, Larry Gifford 

Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

Instagram: @parkinsonspod

Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer

Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer

Thank you to Dr. Silke Cresswell and the Djavad Mowfaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC https://www.centreforbrainhealth.ca/.

Follow the Centre for Brain Health on Twitter at @DMCBrainHealth

For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/

The toll free hotline is 1-800-565-3000

Or follow them on Twitter

Parkinson Canada            @ParkinsonCanada

Parkinson Society BC      @ParkinsonsBC

Credits

Dila Velazquez – Story Producer

Rob Johnston – Senior Audio Producer

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s was selected as one of Apple’s best podcasts of 2018

We LOVE that you are loving the “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s” podcast! If you haven’t subscribed yet — what are you waiting for? 

Subscribing’s easy! Here’s how…

On your iPad or iPhone:

  • Open the Apple Podcasts app, search for When Life Gives You Parkinson’s and select it from the list of results.
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  • Click the name of an episode from the list below to listen.

On your Android Phone or Tablet:

  • Open the Google Podcasts app, search for When Life Gives You Parkinson’s and select it from the list of results.
  • Once on the When Life Gives You Parkinson’s page, click the “Subscribe” button to have new episodes sent to your mobile device for free.
  • Click the name of an episode from the list below to listen.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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