Clinical Edge

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Parkinson Disease and Gut Microbiome Imbalance

Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Feb 14; Hill-Burns, et al

Parkinson disease (PD) is accompanied by dysbiosis of gut microbiome, according to a recent study. A total of 197 PD cases and 130 controls were studied, with microbial composition determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing of DNA extracted from stool. Metadata were collected on 39 potential confounders including medications, diet, gastrointestinal symptoms, and demographics. Researchers found:

  • Independent microbial signatures were detected for PD, participants' region of residence within the US, age, sex, and dietary fruits/vegetables.
  • Among patients, independent signals were detected for catechol-O-methyltransferase-inhibitors, anticholinergics , and possibly carbidopa/levodopa.
  • There were significant altered abundances of the Bifidobacteriaceae, Christensenellaceae, [Tissierellaceae], Lachnospiraceae, Lactobacillaceae, Pasteurellaceae, and Verrucomicrobiaceae families.
  • Functional predictions revealed changes in numerous pathways, including the metabolism of plant-derived compounds and xenobiotics degradation.


Hill-Burns EM, Debelius JW, Morton JT, et al. Parkinson's disease and Parkinson's disease medications have distinct signatures of the gut microbiome. [Published online ahead of print February 14, 2017]. Mov Disord. doi:10.1002/mds.26942.