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Scientists have found a new clue that Parkinson's disease may get its start not in the brain but in fact in the gut perhaps in the appendix.People who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting the tremor-inducing brain disease decades later, researchers reported Wednesday.Why? A peek at surgically removed appendix tissue shows that this tiny organ, often considered useless, seems to be a storage depot for an abnormal protein, one that, if it somehow makes its way into the brain, becomes a hallmark of Parkinson's.The big surprise, according to studies published in the journal Science Translational Medicine: Lots of people may harbor clumps of that worrisome protein in their appendix young and old, people with healthy brains and those with Parkinson's. After all, there are plenty of people who have no appendix yet still develop Parkinson's.The risk of developing Parkinson's was 19 percent lower among those who had their appendix surgically removed decades earlier.In 46 of them, the appendix harbored the abnormal Parkinson's-linked protein.
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