Some age-related and other diseases with formal definitions based on symptoms and late stage mechanisms are likely several distinct conditions that happen to converge on a similar end result. This is particularly true of conditions of the brain and the immune system, where there is a great deal of biochemistry yet to map and fully understand. While Parkinson’s disease in the late stages uniformly involves α-synuclein aggregation and loss of dopaminergenic neurons, the research community has in recent years gathered the data needed to make a clear distinction between cases that start in the brain and cases that start in the intestines. Thus Parkinson’s disease is in fact two distinct diseases that will likely require different approaches to prevention and early stage diagnosis and treatment.
Researchers around the world have been puzzled by the different symptoms and varied disease pathways of Parkinson’s patients. A major study has now identified that there are actually two types of the disease. Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinson’s disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines, which explains why patients with Parkinson’s describe widely
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