Aging | Probiotics Treatment for Parkinson Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical Trials


“The present study provides evidence for the prescription of probiotics for PwP [people with Parkinson’s disease], especially for their GI symptoms.”

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BUFFALO, NY- September 27, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed as “Aging (Albany NY)” by MEDLINE/PubMed and “Aging-US” by Web of Science) Volume 14, Issue 17, entitled, “Probiotics treatment for Parkinson disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.”

People with Parkinson’s disease (PwP) exhibit gut dysbiosis and considerable gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Probiotics, beneficial strains of microorganisms, and supplements optimize the intestinal environment and alleviate GI symptoms among elderly people. 

In a new study, researchers Chien-Tai Hong, Jia-Hung Chen and Tsai-Wei Huang from Taipei Medical University conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials to investigate the effects of probiotics on people with Parkinson’s disease. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases were used. Six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and two open-label studies were included. Most of the probiotic regimens were based on Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Six studies investigated the benefit of probiotics for GI symptoms, especially for PwP with functional constipation, and two RCTs assessed probiotics’ effect on systematic metabolism and inflammation. Major outcomes were the effects of probiotics on GI symptoms, including bowel movement and stool characteristics. 

“In the meta-analysis, probiotic treatment significantly increased the frequency of bowel movements among PwP (mean difference [MD]: 1.06 /week, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.61 to 1.51, p < 0.001, I2 = 40%). Additionally, probiotic treatment significantly normalized stool consistency (standard MD: 0.61, 95% CI = 0.31 to 0.91, p < 0.001, I2 = 0%).”

Although the probiotic compositions varied, the researchers found that probiotic treatment significantly attenuated constipation for people with Parkinson’s disease and exhibited possible systematic effects on inflammation and metabolism. Given the tolerability of probiotics, the present meta-analysis may provide more consolidated evidence of the benefit of probiotics on constipation in people with Parkinson’s disease and a possible new therapeutic approach for disease modification.

“This review and meta-analysis determined that probiotic treatments, mainly Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium–based regimens, effectively alleviated constipation. Adverse effects are generally tolerable. However, considering the gut microbiota is highly associated with a person’s environment and diet, studies from other continents are required to establish the benefit of probiotics on constipation. Moreover, probiotic treatment is likely to affect the systemic inflammation and metabolism of PwP, but further studies are warranted to investigate the possibility of the disease modification effect on PD.”


Corresponding Author: Tsai-Wei Huang – Email: 

Keywords: Parkinson disease, probiotics, constipation, meta-analysis

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About Aging-US:

Launched in 2009, Aging (Aging-US) publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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