central nervous system

This shows the outline of two bodies. One has the head highlighted red, the other has the gut highlighted red

Where does Parkinson’s disease start? In the brain or gut? Or both?

Lewy body disorders, including Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia, comprise of two distinct subtypes. One subtype originates in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) of the gut and spreads to the brain. The other originates in the brain, or enters the brain via the olfactory system, before spreading to the brainstem and PNS.... Read More...
This shows bacteria

Gut microbes protect against neurologic damage from viral infections

A healthy and diverse microbiome is essential for quickly clearing viral infections in the nervous system to prevent risks associated with multiple sclerosis. Mice with lower gut bacteria had weaker immune responses and were unable to eliminate viruses, leading to worsening paralysis. Those treated with antibiotics before infection had fewer microglia. ... Read More...
This diagram shows how a-synuclein travels from the gut to the brain via the vagus nerve

New research shows Parkinson’s disease origins in the gut

A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that Parkinson's disease may start in the gut. Researchers found gut-to-brain propagation of alpha-synuclein spread via the vagus nerve. The study provides a more accurate model of Parkinson's progression and could lead to new treatments to halt or prevent this neurodegenerative disease.... Read More...
This image shows microglia passing from the CNS to PNS

Microglia, cells thought restricted to central nervous system, are redefined in new study

In response to injury, microglia cross the spinal boundary from the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system. While in the PNS, microglia provide the function of clearing cellular debris at the point of injury, then return to the CNS in an altered state. Researchers propose this could account for some damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases.... Read More...