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Removing the appendix early in life was associated with a 19-25% reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
The appendix plays a role in the immune system and the gut microbiome and now has been linked to the protein aggregates ( called alpha-synuclein) found in Parkinson’s.
The reduced risk for Parkinson’s was only apparent when the appendix and the alpha-synuclein contained within it were removed early in life, years before the onset of Parkinson’s, suggesting that the appendix may be involved in disease initiation. Removal of the appendix after the disease process starts had no effect on disease progression.