Alpha-Synuclein updates

I am posting this just prior to the four strategies for gut health… You should see why. 🙂

You may recall from an earlier post: STUDY PURPOSE: The most urgent unmet medical need in Parkinson’s disease is a treatment targeting the underlying disease mechanism and thus prevent the disease from progressing rather than only controlling symptoms. The study drug tested in this study is a new chemical compound called UCB0599, which could have such effects by preventing the aggregation of alpha-synuclein in the brain, which is thought to be the main driver of the disease progression.

Since the alpha-synuclein is the focus of our current clinical trial… I found the following to be of great interest.

Notes from the convention as passed on by Laura Kennedy Gould’s Blog : THE MAGIC TRICK-Life With Parkinson’s

Alpha-Synuclein in your gut

I attended a technical lecture about alpha synuclein (A-syn).  Since the last congress three years ago, A-syn has been found in the appendix.  Apparently, a-syn spreads from the appendix to the gut and by the vagus nerve to the brain.   Different shapes of a-syn aggregation have been identified with each representing a different disease – i.e. PD (spaghetti), ALS (ribbon fibril) or MSA (linguine).  These aggregates form Lewy bodies.  The scientists have discovered that a-syn connects with 178 proteins; however it is not yet known if any of these cause PD or are a result of it.  What I gather from this is that the researchers have learnt a lot but are no closer to finding a cure.  Additional testing and research is needed to further define the role of a-syn and Lewy bodies in relation to PD.

5th… From Out-Thinking… Gut


“…it’s a unique cranial nerve in that it innervates the trunk, the torso, the organs, it actually supplies all of the major trunk organs and it’s a bi-directional nerve -we call it a mixed nerve. It’s got fibers going from the brain to the organs, controlling them, and then it’s got fibers going from the organs to the brain, which is a way of letting the brain know what’s happening in the torso, in the body,”

The Vagus nerve is by far the largest part of the “parasympathetic” nervous system.

“I first discovered the Vagus Nerve (VN) when I was researching how Parkinson’s Disease begins in the gut: It became obvious to me that the VN must indeed have a very primary role in PD.”

“Since Chronic Fatigue is a major symptom of Parkinson’s Disease too, what this line of research is revealing should therefore be of significance relevance to PwP. Indeed, viral vectors have also been increasingly implicated in the onset of PD over recent years.”


“The vagus nerve actually detects cytokines in the periphery and then sends a signal to the brain, essentially letting the brain know that the body is sick.”

“There were some important studies done … where they would pick a rat and inject them with E. coli, say, some sort of a bacteria that would make the rat sick. And of course, the rat acts sick. It doesn’t run on a wheel, it doesn’t eat as much, it doesn’t socialize. That’s true unless you cut the vagus nerve, and then the rat acts normally. It’s essentially, its brain doesn’t know that its body is sick.”

“That’s one of the really important functions of the vagus nerve, of which there are many, but that’s one of the important functions of the vagus nerve, the sensory vagus nerve that goes from the organs to the brain.”

“…  the vagus nerve innervates all of the trunk organs, and that includes the heart… the vagus nerve that comes from the brain to the organs is called the motor vagus or the efferent vagus, and that actually does control heart rate and that’s one of the main ways that we can measure vagal tone is what’s called heart rate variability and it’s the difference in heart rate between breaths. That’s very much a vagus nerve thing”