Your antibiotics may be protecting you from cold & flu, keeping you healthier. But too much of antibiotics could predispose you to Parkinson’s disease, says a new study.
According to the Microbiology Society, if we ran out of effective antibiotics, modern medicine would be set back by decades. However, the new research suggests that irresponsible, excessive use of antibiotics could lead us to develop Parkinson’s disease.
Antibiotics cause changes in the gut microbiome, which is already associated with psychiatric disorders and Crohn’s disease. On the other hand, constipation, IBS, and inflammatory bowel disease have been linked with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The study acknowledges that the gut microbiome occurring due to antibiotics use could be responsible for Parkinson’s disease development.
“The link between antibiotic exposure and Parkinson’s disease fits the current view that in a significant proportion of patients the pathology of Parkinson’s may originate in the gut, possibly related to microbial changes, years before the onset of typical Parkinson motor symptoms such as slowness, muscle stiffness and shaking of the extremities. It was known that the bacterial composition of the intestine in Parkinson’s patients is abnormal, but the cause is unclear. Our results suggest that some commonly used antibiotics, which are known to strongly influence the gut microbiota, could be a predisposing factor,” says research team leader, neurologist Filip Scheperjans, MD, Ph.D. from the Department of Neurology of Helsinki University Hospital.
The strongest associations were found for broad-spectrum antibiotics and those that act against anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The timing of antibiotic exposure also seemed to matter.
The paper was published in the Movement Disorders journal.