Library Dissertation Showcase

The impact of diet and medication on people living with Parkinson’s disease

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

Introduction: Current literature has focused on the impact different dietary patterns and various medications can have on the gut microbiome, and how these may link with an increased risk of developing PD. However, there is very little research into how these factors may influence levodopa efficacy and the patient’s control of symptoms as a result. Therefore, this study aims to gain some insight into how different dietary patterns influence patient’s symptom control, as well as identifying any medications that may lead to an ‘off’ episode.
Methodology: Various health care professionals were approached to fill out a questionnaire regarding PD patients under their care. Here information was gathered regarding patient’s diets, mealtimes, prescribed medications and how controlled their symptoms were. Via thematic analysis antibiotics were identified as a problematic medication that triggered an exacerbation of motor symptoms.
Results and conclusion: Multiple linear regressions and the chi-squared test of independence identified a relationship between dietary pattern and symptom control, with 80% of those consuming a Mediterranean diet experiencing very few off episodes. However, there was no specific relationship found between prebiotic and/or probiotic consumption and improved symptom control. The study identified that only 23% of the patients had received some sort of dietary advice, which suggests more awareness needs to be made of the impact diet can have in PD. These findings support research suggesting links between the gut-brain axis and PD, with this study supporting links between altered microbiome and a reduction in levodopa efficacy. The idea of a correlation between mealtime and levodopa efficacy was also explored, with a significant relationship being found, which supports current literature. Limitations of the research were discussed, with suggestions being made for future research which could help shape the publishing of official medication and dietary advice in PD.

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