Patients Minus Appendix at Greater Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

Patients Minus Appendix at Greater Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

Story Highlights

  • Findings from a new study suggest that removing the appendix is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • The appendix, which is an organ that is part of the body’s immune system, was once believed by medical professionals to have no functional purpose.
  • Interfering with the body’s natural immune system carries the risk of unintended consequences such as autoimmune diseases.

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center recently conducted a study of more than 62 million patients and found that patients who have had their appendix removed are at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life. The findings showed that 0.29 percent of patients who kept their appendix developed Parkinson’s disease compared to 0.92 percent of those patients who had their appendix removed. Those who had their appendix removed were at a three-fold greater risk of developing Parkinson’s later in life.1

Approximately 300,000 Americans have operations to get their appendix removed each year either because the organ has ruptured due to inflammation or to prevent that kind of emergency from occurring.1

Science is Never Settled

For many generations the appendix has been viewed in the medical community as a vestigial organ with no real function and surgeons routinely removed them.2 Doctors dismissed it as superfluous because it was thought that people could live normally without their appendix.3

Contrary to this belief, the link between the removal of the appendix and its association with higher rates of Parkinson’s disease suggests that the appendix does in fact have an important immune function. According to Dr. Mohammed Sheriff, This research shows a clear relationship between the appendix, or appendix removal, and Parkinson’s disease, but it is only an association.” He adds that, “Additional research is needed to confirm this connection and to better understand the mechanisms involved.”1

Research on Parkinson’s disease has been centered on a protein known as alpha synuclein (also known as Lewy bodies) that is typically found in the gastrointestinal tract and in the appendix during the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Research has shown that after a patient’s death, clumps of the alpha synuclein can be seen in the brain through an autopsy. The implication here is that the Lewy bodies could possibly be travelling from the gut to the brain along the vargus nerve, which is the nervous system’s connection between distant parts of the body.1

The Appendix is Part of the Body’s Immune System

The appendix is part of the gastrointestinal tract located in the lower right side of the abdomen. It is a narrow, tube shaped pouch protruding from the large intestine.4 Research conducted by Heather F. Smith, PhD at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine showed that that species with an appendix have higher average concentrations of lymphoid (immune) tissue in the cecum (pouch connected to the junction of the small and large intestines). This finding suggests that the appendix does in fact play an important role as an immune organ. Lymphatic tissue stimulates growth of some types of beneficial gut bacteria providing even more evidence that the appendix serves as a “safe house” for gut bacteria.5

According to Dr. Smith, some studies have shown that people who have had their appendix removed suffer from higher rates of infection than those who have not had it removed. She states, “It may also take them slightly longer to recover from illness, especially those in which the beneficial gut bacteria has been flushed out of the body.”2

She goes on to say that “Exposure to pathogens and infectious agents, like bacteria and viruses, is important for the normal development processes of the immune system.” She explains that without this exposure, the development of the immune system is suppressed and can become hypersensitive causing illnesses such as allergies, etc.2

Disrupting the Balance of the Immune System Has Serious Consequences

The immune system is one of the most complex systems in the human body. It has a wide range of functions, from differentiating between harmful and harmless invaders to stimulating an immune response, to interacting with the gastrointestinal tract, etc. It is naturally designed to protect a person from diseases if it is functioning normally.6

This study examining the link between appendix removal and the development of Parkinson’s disease clearly highlights that interfering with the immune system and its organs carries the risk of unintended consequences, which can eventually manifest with the development of autoimmune disease.

The same concept applies when vaccines are constantly used to artificially manipulate the immune system. In the U.S., almost all children are given a total of 69 doses of 16 vaccines between day of birth and age 18.7 A peer review study published in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine in 2014 provides evidence that inflammatory responses stimulated by repeated vaccinations can result in chronic inflammation that leads to chronic disease, such as diabetes, which is among the prevalent childhood diseases involved in the current chronic illness epidemic.8

Immunologist and diabetes researcher, Barthelow Classen, MD, who authored the study states:

The number of vaccines given to children has continued to rise to a point where we have reached a state of immune overload in roughly the majority of young US children. The new paper reviews the evidence of immune overload and the plethora of different health effects the children are developing because of the immune overload.9

Tampering with the immune system has the potential to disrupt normal immune function and leave an unknown number of susceptible children and adults vulnerable to serious chronic and autoimmune diseases.


References:

5 Responses to "Patients Minus Appendix at Greater Risk for Parkinson’s Disease"

  1. Silly Me   May 16, 2019 at 7:38 am

    It turned out only recently that the appendix preserves gut bacteria even if the intestinal flora is wiped out by a certain condition, say, diarrhea, colonoscopy, or antibiotics. Eighty percent of the immune system is in the intestines, so losing your gut bacteria exposes you to must more that just Parkinson’s.

    Reply
  2. Silly Me   May 16, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Appendicitis should be treated with the appropriate antibiotic after a culture, unless the condition is life-threatening. Of course, that’s just about impossible to ascertain.

    Reply
  3. Kat W.   May 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    It appears that the practice of medicine goes through different “fads” to cure or prevent disease. Back in the eighteenth century it was bloodletting and leeches. Today, all types of interventions manipulating the immune system are very much in vogue – ranging from drugs to treat cancer, psoriasis, crohn’s disease, and of course, vaccines to presumably prevent infectious diseases. The immune system is indeed complex, and is comprised of interacting systems such as innate and adaptive immunity. Achieving effective immunity is not necessarily as simple as giving a “shot” and calling it a day. Immunity produced by vaccines is not absolute but relative. If a person’s immune system is not functioning properly for any number of reasons they may not respond as expected to a vaccine. Plus, vaccines which target the infecting organism itself in whole or in part are generally less effective than vaccines that target something the organism produces, such as a toxin. For example, pertussis, plague, cholera vaccines, etc, produce relatively short lived, often ineffective immunity. Vaccines that target exotoxins such as produced by the bacteria causing diphtheria and tetanus have been more effective. A little humility and respect for what we don’t know is needed when dealing with a complex system like the immune system and its interaction with the microbial environment. Bacteria and viruses have been on this earth a lot longer than we humans have, and they have been tough enough to survive several global mass extinctions. To think that we can wipe them all out with immunizations is to say the least, highly presumptive. Today the prevailing attitude is all about making gobs of money from drugs and vaccines no matter how quickly they are approved and how questionably they perform.

    Reply
  4. Kat W.   May 16, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    It appears the practice of medicine goes through different “fads” to cure or prevent disease. Back in the eighteenth century it was bloodletting and leeches. Today, all types of intervention manipulating the immune system are very much in vogue – ranging from drugs to treat cancer, psoriasis, crohn’s disease, and of course, vaccines to presumably prevent infectious diseases. The immune system is indeed complex and is comprised of interacting systems such as innate and adaptive immunity. Achieving effective immunity is not necessarily as simple as giving a “shot” and calling it a day. Immunity produced by vaccines is not absolute but relative. If a person’s immune system is not functioning properly for any number of reasons, they may not respond as expected to a vaccine. Plus, vaccines which target the infecting organism itself in whole or in part are generally less effective than vaccines which target something the organism produces such as a toxin. For example, pertussis, plague and cholera vaccines, etc. produce relatively short lived often ineffective immunity. Vaccines that target exotoxins such as produced by the bacteria causing diphtheria and tetanus have been more effective. A little humility and respect for what we don’t know is needed when dealing with a complex system like the immune system and its interaction with the microbial environment. Bacteria and viruses have been on the earth a lot longer than we humans have and they have been tough enough to survive several global mass extinctions. To think that we can wipe them all out with immunizations is to say the least, highly presumptive. Today the prevailing attitude is all about making gobs of money from drugs and vaccines no matter how quickly they are approved and how questionably they perform.

    Reply
  5. whatif   May 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    maybe the extra susceptibility to Parkinsons is from the same etiology that caused the appendicitis. If that etiology is systemic, removing the appendix doesn’t remove the cause.

    Reply

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