A punch in the gut - Intestinal inflammation links environmental factors to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2019 Mar:60:43-45. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.09.032. Epub 2018 Sep 29.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is an etiologically heterogeneous disorder. Experimental, clinical and epidemiological data suggest that intestinal inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of PD. This article reviews recent literature on gut microbiota and intestinal inflammation in PD. We propose that intestinal inflammation links environmental factors (e.g. an altered gut microbiota composition) to neurodegeneration in (genetically susceptible) PD patients. In addition, there is an epidemiological and genetic overlap between PD and inflammatory bowel disease. This overlap provides an opportunity to develop new treatment strategies for at least a subgroup of PD patients.

Keywords: Calprotectin; Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Intestinal inflammation; NOD2; Parkinson's disease; Short chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastroenteritis* / complications
  • Gastroenteritis* / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics