Researchers provide new insight into the organization of nerve cells within the gut that help control its function.
Scientists are conducting experiments to see if targeting the enteric nervous system with a compound can inhibit the aggregation of alpha-synuclein and slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.
Changes in gut mucus may contribute to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological disorders. Researchers noted changes in types of gut mucus bacteria in those with a range of neurological disorders compared to their healthy peers. Findings suggest those with reduced gut mucus protection may be more susceptible to gastrointestinal problems.
Viscerofugal neurons inside the gut wall communicate to other neurons outside of the gut, near the spinal cord, to send messages to the brain.
Study highlights how the enteric nervous system acts similarly to neural networks in the brain and spinal cord.