Helicobacter pylori Eradication in Parkinson's Disease: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Mov Disord. 2020 Dec;35(12):2250-2260. doi: 10.1002/mds.28248. Epub 2020 Sep 7.


Background: Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection has been associated with worse motor function in Parkinson's disease (PD).

Objective: We aimed to evaluate the effects of HP eradication on PD symptoms.

Methods: In this parallel-group, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled, single-center trial, patients with PD with positive HP urea breath test and serology were block randomized (1:1) to receive standard eradication triple therapy or identically appearing placebo capsules for 1 week. Prespecified motor (International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society Unified PD Rating Scale [MDS-UPDRS], timed tests, and home-based wearable sensor measurements), nonmotor (Leeds Dyspepsia Questionnaire and Montreal Cognitive Assessment), and quality-of-life (Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39) outcome measures were assessed at weeks 6, 12, 24, and 52. The primary outcome was the baseline-to-week 12 change in ON medication MDS-UPDRS motor scores. Lactulose-hydrogen breath testing for concomitant small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was performed at baseline and repeated at week 24, together with the urea breath test.

Results: A total of 310 patients were screened for eligibility and 80 were randomly assigned, of whom 67 were included in the full-analysis set (32 treatment group patients, 35 placebo patients). HP eradication did not improve MDS-UPDRS motor scores at week 12 (mean difference 2.6 points in favor of placebo, 95% confidence interval: -0.4 to 5.6, P = 0.089). There was no significant improvement in any motor, nonmotor, or quality-of-life outcome at weeks 12 and 52. Both the full-analysis and per-protocol analyses (based on eradication status) supported these conclusions. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth status did not influence treatment results.

Conclusions: HP eradication does not improve clinical outcomes in PD, suggesting that there is no justification for routine HP screening or eradication with the goal of improving PD symptoms. © 2020 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Parkinson's disease; gastrointestinal dysfunction; gut microbiota; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Double-Blind Method
  • Helicobacter Infections* / drug therapy
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires