"Parkinson’s attacks the mind, body, and the spirit. Hope treats all three."
- Gordon Adai
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. One out of every 100 people over the age of 60 develops PD, a number which will only rise as the average life span increases. 
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Many signs of Parkinson’s disease are commonly recognized and visible to other people. These include tremors, slowed movement, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance. Other symptoms are less evident. Constipation and anxiety that are related to PD can begin occurring years before other symptoms appear.
Limited treatments exist, which target symptoms of the disease, but there is currently no cure available.
The first PS128 clinical study of Parkinson’s patients has been published and is summarized below. These positive results, along with earlier preclinical research, give us optimism that PS128 can benefit many who are suffering from the disease.
PS128 + Levodopa
Type: open-label, single-arm, baseline-controlled
Location: Professor Lu Neurological Clinic, Taiwan
Participants: 25 patients with PD, ages 52-72, female and male
Participants took a nightly dose of PS128 for 12 weeks. Disease severity and progression were compared before and after the trial using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), changes in each patient’s “ON-OFF” diary records, and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39.) Patients self-assessed their overall change using the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGI-C) following the study.
ON-state UPDRS-III total and OFF-state total and akinesia scores significantly improved
More than 2/3 of patients felt improvement while taking PS128
Taking PS128 significantly reduced MPO, an enzyme that plays an important role in the development of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases
of UPDRS-III and PDQ-39 categories improved
The following PDQ-39 scores improved significantly:
Activities of daily living
Patient-recorded ON- and OFF-state durations improved significantly
No adverse events were recorded during the study.
Other Signs of
Closely related to Parkinson’s is the hormone dopamine. Dopamine helps coordinate neuromotor function. As we age, neurons that produce the hormone can begin to die, and movement then becomes impaired. Decreased dopamine levels cause limb and facial tremors, as well as rigidity that leads to abnormal gait. Cognitive and behavioral problems may also appear.
Another sign of the disease is the appearance of Lewy bodies. Found in the brain of patients, these clumps of neural protein α-synuclein interfere with a range of neural functions. Memory, movement, thinking, mood, and behavior can all be affected. Traces of α-synuclein have been found in the gut of those with PD, and animal studies have shown that once the molecule accumulates in digestive tracts, it can travel via the vagus nerve directly into the brain, eventually causing symptoms seen in Parkinson’s.
Lewy Bodies are clumps of neural proteins that can accumulate in our cells
Altered Gut Microbiome
A study published in 2016 comparing 197 Parkinson’s patients and 130 healthy individuals from around the US discovered the gut flora of these two groups differed significantly in both the type of microbe species and their proportions. This suggests that an imbalance in gut microbes is a possible risk factor for PD, and that regulating intestinal flora might be one way to treat or even prevent the disease.
 GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. (2018). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet.