I found a summary on the BBC news on health by James Gallagher titled Parkinson’s Disease may start in the gut.
I then found a research programme run by Consultants Sylvia and John Dobbs at the Maudsley/Kings Hospital titled ‘gut microbiome drivers and mediators in the aetiology and pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and comorbidities’.
I had already found that I had been carrying Helicobacter Pylori, following a GI map faeces test when an inflammatory marker – Calprotectin – was 8 X the normal range before treatment with triple therapy. Repeat testing had shown clearance of H. Pylori.
I was beginning to link preceding chronic stress, infection with H Pylori and gut inflammation with the onset of my PD. I also discovered with relief that because I did not have a tremor this would not develop. Rosalind, one of the King’s researchers doing a PhD on PD tremor, confirmed this on detailed testing.
Could gut toxins or unhealthy bacteria affect dopamine producing cells in the brain stem?
Microbiome and PD
How did PD link with my microbiome? Research had implicated Helicobacter Pylori. I volunteered and attended the clinic at King’s/Maudsley, with my partner Helen acting as a spousal control. I found that I had a sluggish left colon following ingestion of colon markers measuring transit time. The nutritional assessment showed that my diet lacked fibre.
My medication was altered to dopamine agonists as Silegiline 1.25 mg daily (Zelapar)and Rotigotine (Neupro) 8 mg daily as a patch. They act to increase dopamine at a muscle level and in the brain and have been well-tolerated. I did not get the muscle spasms (dystonia) that I was getting with L-dopa 100mg three times a day with Carbidopa 25mg three times a day.
My very troubling constipation was explained as part of the disease and an effective regimen of diet change with extra fibre – Normacol granules 7 mg twice daily plus Molaxole twice daily. I continued the vigorous exercise program Warrior PD and a brisk daily walk.
Fundraising for Parkinson’s Research
I’ve received with Helen my partner, who is naturally bewildered by my illness and the effect on me, courtesy, kindness and expert advice at the research unit and have decided to fundraise with Rosalind, one of the PhD students, and run the 10k with her.