vagus nerve

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 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...
intestines

Microbial Based Treatment Reverses ASD’s Social Deficits: Mouse Study

Researchers report the administration of Lactobacillus reuteri may lead to brain changes that reverse social deficits in mouse models of ASD through a mechanism that involves the vagus nerve and reward system. The findings hold promise for the development of treatments for ASD, as well as other disorders, by modulating specific gut microbes.... Read More...