Anti-inflammatory treatment used for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease can significantly lower the risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease
A recent study from researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides new insights into a link between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Parkinson’s disease, which can be useful in treatment and prevention of Parkinson’s disease. The study was published in JAMA Neurology journal. If IBD treated with anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (anti-TNFα) therapy, a monoclonal antibody that is commonly used to control inflammation, then their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease reduces significantly and becomes even lower than that in the general population.
Previous research have reported genetic and functional connections between IBD and Parkinson’s disease, along with clinical evidence. The authors of the study identified a number of genetic variants associated with an increased risk of both Parkinson’s disease and of Crohn’s disease, a type of IBD, or a decreased risk of both diseases. “We wanted to determine if anti-TNFα therapy, could mitigate a patient’s risk in developing Parkinson’s disease,” said Inga Peter, Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai and lead investigator in the study.
The research team found a 78% reduction in the incidence of Parkinson’s disease among IBD patients who were treated with anti-TNFα therapy as compared to those who were not. The outcomes of this study suggest that it may not be necessary for the drug to pass through the blood brain barrier to treat or prevent inflammation within the central nervous system or that the blood-brain barrier in patients with IBD may be compromised, allowing the large molecules of the compound to pass through.