New trial to test if a probiotic drink could improve symptoms

Researchers at King’s College London are starting a world-first clinical trial to test if a probiotic drink could help with motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's.

Funding the search for better treatments

The Parkinson's UK funded study is investigating how changing bacteria in the gut affects Parkinson's symptoms. The study is being carried out at the International Parkinson's centre of Excellence at King's College Hospital led by Professor K. R. Chaudhuri and has the potential to provide a new way to treat Parkinson's.

About the project

The aim of the clinical trial is to see if an oral drinkable probiotic called Symprove is able to reduce motor and non-motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's by improving gut health.

Recent studies have shown that gut health is important in people with Parkinson's and previous work has suggested that probiotics may improve gut symptoms. Now researchers want to test if the Symprove probiotic could improve a variety of symptoms, beyond the gut, in a UK-led pilot trial.

The study, which will be taking place at a single centre in London, will recruit 60 people with Parkinson's taking either oral probiotic or placebo for 3 months.

This research will help our understanding of how gut health is linked to Parkinson's and assess whether this is a potential new treatment to improve motor and non-motor symptoms.

Dr Katherine Fletcher, Research Communications Officer at Parkinson's UK, said:

"It's fantastic to be involved in this innovative trial to see if a drinkable oral probiotic can benefit people with Parkinson's. The link between the gut and Parkinson's is an area that is becoming increasingly interesting and this trial will directly assess how changing bacteria in the gut may alter Parkinson's symptoms.

"If the trial is successful this could be an exciting new treatment that has the potential to benefit many."