I am a Professor of Gastroenterology (gut doctor) in Nottingham and I have Parkinson’s Disease. It makes walking, eating and ttypng (like that!) difficult because of stiffness, tremor and balance problems. It also shortens your life expectancy.
So, as a gastroenterologist and Parkinson’s patient I was encouraged by new research suggesting some of the earliest changes that lead to conditions like Parkinson’s may actually begin with the bacteria in our gut (the microbiome).
It seemed completely counter-intuitive but amazing findings are often what lead to breakthroughs because they show that we were previously looking in the wrong place. This is a huge discovery and still a very recent one, which only highlights how much we’re yet to discover about gut bacteria and its connection to our brain.
I like to travel to unusual places and now that I have Parkinson’s it is particularly important not to let my bucket list be limited by disability. I will be taking on the challenge of traveling through 13 time zones to Kamchatka, Russia; one of the most isolated places on the planet.
There, I’ll spend 10 days trekking, climbing volcanoes, and rafting, in one of the most remote and dramatic places in the world. I’ll post photos as well as tips and facts about gut health and Parkinson’s disease, which I hope you will find interesting.
But this isn’t just about doing something challenging. I’m also using this opportunity to raise money for two charities, Guts UK and Parkinson’s UK, in the hope of funding future research into the connection between the bacteria in our gut and Parkinson’s Disease. Every penny you donate will support work that could lead to improved treatment, prevention or even cure of this debilitating condition.
Chris’s Virgin Money Giving page is: