CNS News & Events

Sarah O’Donovan presents her work at the Biochemical Society conference.

10 Nov 2016

Sarah O’Donovan, a post-graduate student at the APC Microbiome Institute and the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, was selected for an oral presentation at the Biochemical society conference on inflammatory disease – clinical mechanisms and perspectives, held in Maynooth University on the 3rd – 4th November 2016. Sarah is funded by an APC innovation platform award, supervised by a multi-disciplinary APC team led by Dr Cora O’Neill.

Our team is focused on investigating the brain ↔ gut axis in Parkinson’s disease (PD), with primary focus on translating findings from new PD animal models to much-needed innovative therapies and diagnostics for PD that target the gut. Sarah presented results that show for the first time that brain to gut communication is critically important component of Parkinson’s disease, and may potentially play an important role in disease progression. Presented results included an increase in glial cell expression in α-synuclein rats, indicative of gut inflammation. Significant increases in secondary bile acid levels were found in α-synuclein rats, indicating alterations in the gut bacterial population responsible for the microbial modifications to produce secondary bile acids. Together these results provide highly novel information aimed toward enhanced understanding of disease onset and spread, and improved treatment and diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

The APC multi-disciplinary team includes Prof. Aideen Sullivan, Dr David Clarke, Dr Jillian Browne, Dr Orla O’Sullivan, Dr Niall Hyland, Dr Susan Joyce, Dr Olivia O’Leary, Dr Suzanne Timmons and Prof. Paul O’Toole. Co-authors and contributors to this work are Erin Crowley and Dr Yvonne Nolan.

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