|Novel risk factor for Parkinson’s disease has been found|
Bacterium Helicobacter Pylori is prime suspect
Researchers of Louisiana University have presented data that suggest that Helicobacter pylori may have a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease at the meeting of the American Society of Microbiology. This bacterium occurs in the stomach of about half of the general population and has proved to be responsible for gastric and duodenal ulcers.
They studied the effects of Helicobacter pylori inoculation into young and old mice and observed that the old mice developed symptoms that resemble those of Parkinson’s disease. They also lost dopaminergic nervous cells, just like patients with Parkinson’s disease, whereas nothing happened to young mice. They believe that Helicobacter pylori uses the cholesterol of the organisms it enters, transforming it into a compound that resembles a neurotoxin contained in a tropical plant, whose seeds, if eaten, produce a neurodegenerative disease characterized by parkinsonian symptoms and dementia