With increasing evidence showing a link between Parkinson’s disease and gut health, revolutionary faecal transplants are now the latest new treatment option being trialled in people living with Parkinson’s to help manage their symptoms by replenishing their healthy gut bacteria.
The trial is the result of a collaboration between leading Australian biotechnology company BiomeBank (a clinical stage biotechnology company developing microbial therapies), The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group.
“Constipation is a common problem for many people with Parkinson’s and has a wider impact on the person’s health and wellbeing.” Says Dr Robert Bryant, co-founder and VP of Translational Medicine at BiomeBank and gastroenterologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“The aim of this trial is to meet an unmet medical need, exploring whether our microbial therapy is safe and tolerable in people with Parkinson’s disease. The study will also provide some preliminary information on whether faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) might improve motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s including constipation. Results of this pilot study will inform the design of future larger studies."
This interventional clinical study is being led by Associate Professor Thomas Kimber, a neurologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, who is also integrating dopamine scans which monitors the brain for abnormalities.
Cassandra Hewett lives with Young Onset Parkinson’s and hopes to benefit from the study. She says her chronic constipation is “painful” and “the source of so much discomfort”.
“I’m a person that does all the things that I’m supposed to in order to help such as a special diet, exercise, make sure I drink lots of water – but nothing helps,” she says.
“I’m hoping this research will change my life.”
Leading Adelaide businessman Kevin Weeks is financially backing the trial, through The Hospital Research Foundation Group. Living with Parkinson’s himself and on the Board of THRF Group charity Parkinson’s SA, Kevin knows how living with the daily symptoms of Parkinson’s can affect people’s quality of life.
“Gut health has been linked to so many conditions and it is exciting that a South Australian company might improve our understanding of this connection,” Kevin says.
“I’m funding this trial because I want to back research that produces immediate improvements for people living with Parkinson’s.”
Participants needed for the Trial
People living with Parkinson’s are being sought to participate in the trial, where they’ll be provided with a six-month course of FMT from BiomeBank. If you would like to participate, you must have a confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s, receiving levodopa therapy and experiencing a fluctuating response to levodopa.
Please contact Dr Michele De Sciscio during business hours via phone 0422 447 902 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register your interest.
Published with permission from The Hospital Research Foundation.
Read the full article on their website.