According to Science Daily, metagenomics was used to study DNA taken from the microbiomes of Parkinson’s disease patients and those who did not have the condition but were neurologically healthy.
The study’s principal author, Hayden Payami, Ph.D., a professor of neurology at the Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, stated that their primary goal was to obtain a “complete, unmodified picture” of the imbalance in gut flora in Parkinson’s disease.
The findings show that the microbiome may have a role in the progression of Parkinson’s disease. “We discovered evidence for multiple processes associated with Parkinson’s disease, and the microbiome is in charge of them in the gut,” according to Payami.
Toxic chemicals, the bacterial product curli, an excess of opportunistic pathogens, and an excess of immunogenic components were all discovered, indicating the presence of infection and inflammation.
As a result, L-dopa and other neurotransmitters become imbalanced, leading to Parkinson’s disease. The absence of neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory substances hinders healing even further.
Payami is the John T. and Janelle D. Strain Endowed Chair in Neurology, and she and her colleagues enrolled 490 Parkinson’s disease patients and 234 healthy controls. More than half of the participants were men, and the majority were over 50.
Because they all came from the same region of the United States (the “Deep South”), this aspect ensured that any potential for discrimination was eliminated. Scientists studied 257 different microbiome species and discovered that 84, or more than 30%, were linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Payami discovered that, of the 84 species related to Parkinson’s disease, 55 were unusually abundant in people with the disorder, whereas 29 were few. Simply put, “we discovered that over 30% of the microorganisms and bacterial genes and pathways studied have changed abundances in Parkinson’s disease,” the researchers said.
The amount of Bifidobacterium dentium, Actinomyces oris, and Streptococcus mutans grew by factors of seven, six, and five, respectively, at one extreme. Roseburia intestinalis and Blautia wexlerae populations, on the other hand, were reduced by 7.5 and 5.0, respectively. When the PD group was compared to the healthy control group, the abundance of 36% of the species associated with PD rose or fell by 100-750%.
“This work developed a large dataset at the greatest resolution now feasible and made it available with no constraints,” Payami explained. “The study includes detailed profiles of 490 Parkinson’s disease patients and 234 healthy older persons, making it the largest PD cohort with microbiome data to date.
We demonstrated that the environment created by the Parkinson’s disease metagenome is extremely favorable to neurodegenerative processes while being extremely hostile to recovery.”
Parkinson’s disease, a chronic, degenerative movement illness expected to impact 8.7 million people by 2030, affected 4 million worldwide in 2005. Although Parkinson’s disease is usually assumed to be a movement issue, it affects various physical systems.
Although the actual cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, it is assumed to be caused by genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. For a long time, Parkinson’s disease has been linked to digestive issues. “This is exciting research since metagenomics is a young and rapidly expanding field where cutting-edge resources, techniques, and tools are still being developed,” Payami said.