Using data collected from 62.2 million Parkinson's patients, researchers discover a relationship between appendectomies and an increased risk of developing the disease. According to the analysis, patients who had their appendix removed were more than three times as likely to develop Parkinson's than those who had not.
Mice bred to be germ-free, and those treated with antibiotics showed a significant reduction in the ability to learn that a threatening danger was no longer present. Sequencing the RNA of microglia in the brains of the animals reveals altered gene expression in the immune cells, which play a role in remodeling how neurons connect during the learning process. Restoring the gut microbiota reverse the learning problems.
Xanthine, a purine metabolite found in caffeinated products such as coffee and tea, and in chocolate, appears to play a role in TH17 cell differentiation in the gut. The findings may lead to a better understanding of gut health and shed new light on the development of inflammatory disorders such as IBD.