Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 11

Nonmotor gastrointestinal disorders in older patients with Parkinson’s disease: is there hope?

Authors Georgescu D, Ancusa OE, Georgescu LA, Ionita I, Reisz D

Received 12 February 2016

Accepted for publication 23 March 2016

Published 11 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1601—1608


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Doina Georgescu,1 Oana Elena Ancusa,1 Liviu Andrei Georgescu,2 Ioana Ionita,3 Daniela Reisz4

1Department of Internal Medicine, 2Department of Urology, 3Department of Hematology, 4Department of Neurology, “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania

Despite the fact that nonmotor symptoms (NMS) like gastrointestinal (GI) complaints are frequently reported in Parkinson’s disease (PD), no therapeutic guidelines are available. This study aimed to manage some lower GI-NMS in a group of patients with PD. A total of 40 patients (17 males, 23 females; mean age 76.05±2.09 years) were randomly selected for this study. Patients were confirmed to have PD (modified Hoehn–Yars scale: 2.075±0.4) who had undergone levodopa or dopamine agonist treatment. In the non-motor symptoms questionnaire (NMS-Quest), regarding GI complaints, the following were recorded: abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation of mild-to-moderate severity. Laboratory studies, abdominal ultrasound, and upper and lower digestive endoscopies were performed to rule out organic issues. All patients increased their water intake to 2 L/d and alimentary fiber to 20–25 g/d. Twenty patients received trimebutine 200 mg three times daily half an hour before meals. The other 20 patients received probiotics (60 mg per-tablet of two lactic bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis), 2×/d, 1 hour after meals for 3 months along with the reassessment of GI complaints. Our results demonstrated that there were significant statistical differences in all assessed symptoms in the first group: 1.55±0.51 vs 0.6±0.5 (P<0.0001) for abdominal pain; 1.6±0.5 vs 0.45±0.51 (P<0.0001) for bloating; and 1.5±0.51 vs 0.85±0.67 (P=0.0014) for constipation with incomplete defecation. The second group displayed statistical differences only for abdominal pain 1.45±0.51 vs 1.05±0.69 (P=0.00432) and bloating 1.4±0.5 vs 0.3±0.47 (P<0.0001). For constipation with incomplete defecation, there was a slight improvement. Thus, there was no significant statistical difference: 1.35±0.49 vs 1.15±0.49 (P=0.2040). In conclusion, lower GI-NMS are frequently present, isolated or associated with other autonomic issues, even before the diagnosis of PD. Treatment with probiotics could improve abdominal pain and bloating as much as with trimebutine, but less for constipation with incomplete evacuation, where trimebutine showed better results.

Keywords: PD, lower GI-NMS, probiotics, prokinetics, trimebutine

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]