Main idea: Multistrain probiotics treatment was effective for constipation in Parkinson’s disease patients.
To determine whether probiotics are effective for constipation, a common and often difficult-to-treat problem, in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-center trial, 280 patients with PD were screened. 72 eligible patients were block-randomized to receive either multistrain probiotics capsules or identical-appearing placebo for 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change in the average number of spontaneous bowel movements (SBM) per week. SBM increased by 1.0 per week after treatment with probiotics and decreased by 0.3 per week in the placebo group. Significant improvements were also seen for secondary outcomes after correction for multiple comparisons. In the treatment group, 65.6% reported satisfaction with the intervention vs only 21.6%. One patient withdrew due to a non-serious adverse event. Multistrain probiotics treatment was effective for constipation in PD. Further studies are needed to investigate the long-term efficacy and safety of probiotics in PD, as well as their mechanisms of action.