- A new therapy can help lower the risk of Parkinson's disease in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients
- IBD patients are at a greater risk of developing Parkinson disease
- Treating IBD patients with anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy can lower the risk of Parkinson's
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. However, a new therapy can help treat and prevent Parkinson's disease, reveals a new study.
The study was conducted by the research team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published the study in JAMA Neurology.
‘Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) therapy can lower the risk of developing Parkinsonís disease.’
Link between Parkinson's and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Patients with IBD were found to be at a 28 percent higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease than those patients without IBD.
In this study, the research team suggests that treating IBD patients with anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) therapy
can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
Anti-TNFα, a monoclonal antibody is commonly used to control inflammation in patients with IBD. It can not only lower the risk in IBD patients, but also in the general population.
These results can help in the screening of IBD patients for Parkinson's disease much better, as the onset of IBD precedes Parkinson's disease by decades.
The research team also provides evidence to support exploring anti-TNFα therapy in preventing Parkinson's disease in individuals who are at-risk.
Previous studies show a link between genetic and functional connections in IBD and Parkinson's disease patients. However, clinical evidence linking the two has been limited.
Some genetic variants have been identified by the research team that contributes to either an increased risk of both Parkinson's disease and Crohn's disease or a decreased risk of both diseases.
These results have led the research team to study the co-occurrence of these two diseases further.
Effect of Anti-TNFα Therapy
"Systemic inflammation is a major component of IBD, and it's also thought to contribute to the neuronal inflammation found in Parkinson's disease. We wanted to determine if anti-TNFα therapy, could mitigate a patient's risk of developing Parkinson's disease," explained Inga Peter, Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai and lead investigator of the study.
In this study, the team found a 78 percent reduction in the incidence of Parkinson's disease among IBD patients, especially in those treated with anti-TNFα therapy than those who were not treated with anti-TNFα therapy.
Previously, it was thought that anti-TNFα therapy has limited effect on the central nervous system, it is a site where molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease are found, as the large molecules in the anti-TNFα compounds cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier.
In this study, the results show that it is not necessary for the drug to pass through the blood-brain barrier to treat or prevent inflammation within the central nervous system, allowing the large molecules of the compound to pass through the blood-brain barrier.
Parkinson's disease is the most common late-life neurodegenerative disease, which affects nearly 1 percent to 2 percent of people who are 60 years or older.
"Current therapies for Parkinson's disease focus on improving symptoms. Our findings provide promising insights that support further investigations into how reducing systemic inflammation could help treat or prevent Parkinson's disease," said Peter.