Parkinson’s disease and the gut microbiome

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex disease and both genetic and environmental factors are associated with the evolution and progression of the disease. Recent studies are pointing to the role of the microbiome and gut bacteria in the progression of PD. However, the functional metabolic consequences of alterations in the gut microbiome remain unclear. A team of researchers from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), together with national and international partners, has addressed this question and published their findings recently in the journal BMC Biology. Their results suggest that PD-associated alterations of the gut microbiome can translate into substantial functional differences affecting host metabolism and disease phenotype. The study thus confirms earlier observations that specific microbial species and genra change significantly in their relative abundances between PD patients and healthy controls. Moreover, the study illustrates the influence of some key factors such as gender, age and non-motor symptoms on the microbial patterns.

The article “Parkinson’s disease-associated alterations of the gut microbiome predict disease-relevant changes in metabolic functions” can be openly accessed.