Parkinson’s Disease and Gut Microbiome Linked

Though roughly 75% of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities, primarily constipation, it had been assumed for many years that this was a side effect of neurodegeneration. However, in recent years, researchers have begun to uncover important links between microbial communities of the gut and neurological health. a team of investigators led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered for the first time a functional link between bacteria in the intestines and PD. The researchers were able to show that changes in the composition of gut bacterial populations—or possibly gut bacteria themselves—are actively contributing to and may even cause the deterioration of motor skills that is the hallmark of this disease.