Higher exposure to commonly used oral antibiotics can increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
This was found in a study by researchers from the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland.
The study found the strongest associations for broad spectrum antibiotics and those that act against against anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The timing of antibiotic exposure also seemed to matter.
The study suggested that excessive use of certain antibiotics can predispose to Parkinson’s disease with a delay of up to 10 to 15 years. This connection may be explained by their disruptive effects on the gut microbial ecosystem.
“The link between antibiotic exposure and Parkinson’s disease fits the current view that in a significant proportion of patients the pathology of Parkinson’s may originate in the gut, possibly related to microbial changes, years before the onset of typical Parkinson motor symptoms such as slowness, muscle stiffness and shaking of the extremities. It was known that the bacterial composition of the intestine in Parkinson’s patients is abnormal, but the cause is unclear. Our results suggest that some commonly used antibiotics, which are known to strongly influence the gut microbiota, could be a predisposing factor,” says research team leader, neurologist Filip Scheperjans MD, PhD from the Department of Neurology of Helsinki University Hospital.