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Dr. Viviane Labrie

Dr. Bryan Killinger

Dr. Lena Brundin

Dr. Patrik Brundin

Aggregated alpha-synuclein in the neurons of the appendix

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TITLE: The hallmark pathology of Parkinson’s disease is detected in the healthy human appendix

EXPLANATION: Clumped forms of alpha-synuclein proteins are a key feature of Parkinson disease, but new research shows that nerve cells of the human appendix also hosts an abundance of clumped alpha-synuclein. Appendix nerve cells are colored in green, clumped alpha-synuclein is colored in red, and nuclei of appendix nerve cells are colored in blue. This suggests that clumped alpha-synuclein is normally present in the appendix but if it were to leave and enter the brain it could trigger Parkinson’s disease.