Queensland researchers are studying the link between the gut microbiome and Parkinson's disease and are seeking participants for a clinical trial.
The research aims to investigate the use a prebiotic supplement to help restore beneficial bacterial species and strains in the gut, which have been shown to be progressively reduced in people with Parkinson's as the disease progresses, leading to digestive issues.
Brisbane-based gut microbiome biotech Microba has partnered with researchers from The University of Queensland's Faculty of Medicine to develop new treatments and biomarkers for Parkinson's disease by targeting the gut microbiome.
Around 70 per cent of people with Parkinson's disease develop gut dysfunction, in particular constipation.
The study is being conducted across South East Queensland with a total of 50 participants needed for a 20 week trial which will include five visits to the study clinics - Royal Brisbane Hospital and UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR); Wesley Hospital and Wesley Medical Research and the Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith Health Centre.
To be eligible for the study, participants must meet eligibility criteria: Male or female aged 25 to 80 (inclusive), diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, have three or less bowel movement per week.
Participants will start with either the drug treatment or placebo and cross over to the other treatment in the middle of the treatment period.
Study activities will include:
- A physical examination - measurement of vital signs (heart rate, and blood pressure), a collection of blood, urine, and stool samples for gut microbiome analysis
- Undergoing two abdominal X-rays
- Maintaining a regular food diary
- Completing a number of standard Parkinson's disease assessments at each of the five visits.
Parkinson's disease is the second-most prevalent neurodegenerative disease worldwide, with more than 10 million people living with the disease which causes loss of brain cells that produce dopamine.
There are currently no early diagnostics and treatments only assist to lessen some symptoms.
Further information: 07-3346-5043. To sign up for the trial visit: https://clinical-research.centre.uq.edu.au/qdri