The Movement Disorder Society

MDS 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Volume 29,
June 2014 Abstract Supplement

Movement Disorders 2014
Stockholm, Sweden June 8-12, 2014.

Gut microbiota are associated with Parkinson's disease and clinical phenotype – A case-control study

Scheperjans,  F., Aho,  V., Pereira,  P.A.B., Koskinen,  K., Paulin,  L., Pekkonen,  E., Haapaniemi,  E., Kaakkola,  S., Eerola-Rautio,  J., Pohja,  M., Kinnunen,  E., Murros,  K., Auvinen,  P.

Helsinki, Finland


To study whether Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with alterations of the gut microbiome.


In the course of PD, the enteric nervous system (ENS) and parasympathetic nerves are amongst the structures most frequently and earliest affected by alpha-synuclein pathology. Accordingly, gastrointestinal dysfunction is an important non-motor symptom in PD and often present years before motor symptom onset. Recent research has shown that intestinal microbiota interact with the autonomic and central nervous system via diverse pathways including the ENS and vagal nerve. The role of gut microbiota in PD has not been previously investigated.


We compared the fecal microbiomes of 72 PD patients and 72 control subjects by pyrosequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Associations between clinical parameters and microbiota were analyzed using generalized linear models taking into account potential confounders.


On average, the abundance of Prevotellaceae in feces of PD patients was reduced by 77.6% as compared with controls (Q=0.031). Relative abundance of Prevotellaceae of ≤6.5% had 86.1% sensitivity and 38.9% specificity for PD (AUC=0.664 [95% CI 0.556-0.771]; P=0.004). A logistic regression classifier based on the severity of constipation and the abundance of four bacterial families identified PD patients with 66.7% sensitivity and 90.3% specificity (AUC=0.832 [95% CI 0.766-0.897]; P<0.001). The relative abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was positively associated with the severity of postural instability and gait difficulty (P<0.001).


The intestinal microbiome is altered in PD and is related to motor phenotype. This may point to a role of intestinal microbiota in the etiopathogenesis of PD and could be a potential biomarker.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Scheperjans, F., Aho, V., Pereira, P.A.B., Koskinen, K., Paulin, L., Pekkonen, E., Haapaniemi, E., Kaakkola, S., Eerola-Rautio, J., Pohja, M., Kinnunen, E., Murros, K., Auvinen, P.; Gut microbiota are associated with Parkinson's disease and clinical phenotype – A case-control study [abstract]. Movement Disorders 2014;29 Suppl 1 :1548