In a nutshell
This study investigated how Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection and its treatment affect the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Researchers suggested that HP treatment improves the symptoms of patients with PD.
PD commonly affects older people. It affects the brain cells causing symptoms such as tremors. Levodopa is the standard treatment for PD. However, long-term levodopa use is associated with side effects such as dyskinesia (abnormal movements such as jerks and twitches) and motor fluctuations (PD symptoms coming back before the next dose of levodopa, sometimes worse). These side effects impact the daily living activities and quality of life of patients.
Patients with PD may also have gastrointestinal problems. Prior studies showed an increased risk of PD in patients with bowel disease. HP is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the stomach and more severe diseases such as gastric (stomach) cancer. Prior studies suggested an increased risk of HP infection in patients with PD. HP infection can also influence the absorption of PD medication. It is not known if HP treatment improves the outcomes of PD.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 40 patients with PD. 22 patients had HP infection and received a 2-week treatment to remove the HP infection. The HP treatment involved amoxicillin (Amoxil), clarithromycin (Biaxin), and omeprazole (Prilosec). All patients continued their standard PD medication.
17 patients (77.3%) were confirmed HP negative after the treatment. These patients showed a significant decrease in daily OFF time (periods when the PD symptoms come back before the next levodopa dose) of 0.7 hours and an increase in ON-time of 0.9 hours.
Dyskinesia and gastric symptoms (heartburn, bloating, and swallowing problems) were significantly improved. However, no significant improvement was observed in levodopa treatment time, PD physical symptoms, and quality of life.
The bottom line
This study concluded that treating the HP infection improves the treatment of patients with PD.
The fine print
This study was based on information from only one center and the number of participants was very small. Further studies, with a bigger and more diverse population, are necessary.
Published By :
May 05, 2021
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