Parkinson's is a degenerative disease associated with the brain-but breakthrough research has discovered it begins in the gut.
People who have suffered for years with gut problems such as constipation could be showing early signs of the disease.
The infection eventually reaches the brain via the vagus nerves in the stomach, say researchers. The remedy is effective but extreme: the severing of the entire nerve.
This also fits with previous studies that had found some association between the disease and the nerves. People who have their vagus nerve completely severed halved their risk of developing Parkinson's. But those who had only a small part severed were not protected from getting the disease, say researchers from Aarhus University.
The researchers had studied around 15,000 patients who had the vagus nerve in their stomach severed.
(Source: Annals of Neurology, 2015; doi: 10.1002/ana.24448)