Vagotomy May Point To Gut Origin of Parkinson’s Disease Interview with:

Karin Wirdefeldt, MD, PhD</strong> Associate professor Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Wirdefeldt

Karin Wirdefeldt, MD, PhD
Associate professor
Karolinska Institutet
Stockholm, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It has been hypothesized that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut and spread to the brain via the vagal nerve. We found that people who had a truncal vagotomy (ie, the nerve trunk fully resected) at least 5 years earlier were less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to people without vagotomy or people who had a selective vagotomy (ie, only branches of the nerve resected). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our results provide suggestive evidence for a link between the gut and the brain in Parkinson’s disease. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: A lot more research is needed to understand this better, for example experimental studies and pathological studies.

Disclosures as in the article. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Bojing Liu, Fang Fang, Nancy L. Pedersen, Annika Tillander, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Anders Ekbom, Per Svenningsson, Honglei Chen, and Karin Wirdefeldt. Vagotomy and Parkinson disease: A Swedish register–based matched-cohort study. Neurology, April 2017 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003961

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Last Updated on April 29, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD