A bacterium that causes ulcers in the stomach may be responsible for triggering the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, a new study conducted by a group of American researchers reveals.
Speculation regarding a link between stomach ulcers and Parkinson's disease has been around in the medical field since the 1960s but this is the first time that researchers have found evidence that a ulcer-causing bacteria may be responsible for the symptoms.
Researchers led by Dr Traci Testerman from the Louisiana State University found that a strain of bacteria Helicobacter pylori caused Parkinson's like symptoms in mice five months after they were infected with the bacteria.
"Our findings suggest that H. pylori infection could play a significant role in the development of Parkinson's disease in humans. The results were far more dramatic in aged mice than in young mice, demonstrating that normal ageing increases susceptibility to Parkinsonian changes in mice, as seen in humans", Dr Testerman said. The study was presented at the American Society for Microbiology's annual meeting in New Orleans.