Altered Gut Microbiome and Intestinal Pathology in Parkinson's Disease

J Mov Disord. 2019 May;12(2):67-83. doi: 10.14802/jmd.18067. Epub 2019 May 30.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder arising from an interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors. Studies have suggested that the pathological hallmarks of intraneuronal α-synuclein aggregations may start from the olfactory bulb and the enteric nervous system of the gut and later propagate to the brain via the olfactory tract and the vagus nerve. This hypothesis correlates well with clinical symptoms, such as constipation, that may develop up to 20 years before the onset of PD motor symptoms. Recent interest in the gut-brain axis has led to vigorous research into the gastrointestinal pathology and gut microbiota changes in patients with PD. In this review, we provide current clinical and pathological evidence of gut involvement in PD by summarizing the changes in gut microbiota composition and gut inflammation associated with its pathogenesis.

Keywords: Gut inflammation; Gut–brain axis; Microbiome; Parkinson’s disease.