New Avenues for Parkinson's Disease Therapeutics: Disease-Modifying Strategies Based on the Gut Microbiota

Biomolecules. 2021 Mar 15;11(3):433. doi: 10.3390/biom11030433.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder that currently affects 1% of the population over the age of 60 years, and for which no disease-modifying treatments exist. Neurodegeneration and neuropathology in different brain areas are manifested as both motor and non-motor symptoms in patients. Recent interest in the gut-brain axis has led to increasing research into the gut microbiota changes in PD patients and their impact on disease pathophysiology. As evidence is piling up on the effects of gut microbiota in disease development and progression, another front of action has opened up in relation to the potential usage of microbiota-based therapeutic strategies in treating gastrointestinal alterations and possibly also motor symptoms in PD. This review provides status on the different strategies that are in the front line (i.e., antibiotics; probiotics; prebiotics; synbiotics; dietary interventions; fecal microbiota transplantation, live biotherapeutic products), and discusses the opportunities and challenges the field of microbiome research in PD is facing.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Parkinson’s disease; antibiotics; fecal transplants; gut microbiota; gut–brain axis; live biotherapeutic products; prebiotics; probiotics; synbiotics; therapeutic modulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / microbiology*
  • Phylogeny


  • Neuroprotective Agents