UAB study shows link between microbiome in the gut and Parkinson’s

Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., professor of Neurology

There is growing evidence showing a connection between Parkinson’s disease — a neurodegenerative condition — and the composition of the microbiome of the gut. A new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that Parkinson’s disease, and medications to treat Parkinson’s, have distinct effects on the composition of the trillions of bacteria that make up the gut microbiome.

The findings were published in February in Movement Disorders, the journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

(Read more…)

Genetic link discovered between immune system, Parkinson’s disease

The genome-wide association study published in Nature Genetics was conducted by the NeuroGenetics Research Consortium, an international team of researchers led by Haydeh Payami. The finding of association of the immune regulating genes (HLA) with Parkinson’s disease, and its subsequent validation world-wide, cemented the role of the immune system in the root of Parkinson disease, opening the gates to a now very active field in PD research. The discovery suggests some forms of Parkinson’s disease could be triggered by infectious agents or unknown factors that send the immune and inflammatory response into overdrive.

(Read more…)