These days, gut bacteria have been implicated in everything from obesity to mood, but two new studies show they could also play a large role in an often debilitating autoimmune disease: multiple sclerosis.

One study, led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed the gut microbiomes of 71 healthy people and 71 people with MS. The MS patients were found to have four times as many Acienetobacter and Akkermansia bacteria as the healthy group. The healthy group, meanwhile, had four times as much Parabacteroides bacteria as the MS patients.

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[DIGEST: BBC, Express, R&D Magazine, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation]

Parkinson’s, a progressive, incurable disease that attacks the brain and nervous system, may actually begin in the gut, say researchers from the California Institute of Technology. In a study published in the journal Cell, the researchers shared the results of experiments conducted on mice that suggest the origins of the disease may begin with bacteria in the gut.

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