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Probiotic Use in Parkinson's Disease

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04140760
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : October 28, 2019
Last Update Posted : October 22, 2020
University of Sheffield
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sheffield Hallam University

Brief Summary:
  1. To evaluate the components and processes needed for a full-scale clinical study: recruitment, randomisation, attrition, probiotic use, stool sample collection, microbiome sequencing and behavioural/cognitive measures and determine the feasibility and patient acceptability of these processes to inform a full-scale study in line with NIHR pilot study guidance.
  2. To collect pilot data to determine sample size and power, reliability and sensitivity of selected measures, to maximise the findings and minimise patient burden.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Parkinson Disease Other: Symprove Other: Symprove placebo product Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The proposed research is a pilot study with 70 participants, 35 in the probiotic and 35 in the placebo arm of the study. The study will investigate the process of conducting randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled research about probiotic use in Parkinson's Disease patients. The primary aim of the study is to test elements of the study design for a full-scale clinical study: recruitment, randomisation, probiotic use, stool sample collection and DNA sequencing and behavioural/cognitive measures. The secondary aim is to collect pilot data to determine the sample size, Power and appropriateness of measures needed for a full-scale study that maximises findings and minimises patient burden.

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition that affects motor functions and a range of non-motor abilities. There is no cure and a definitive cause is not yet known. It has a prevalence of 0.3% in the general population and 1-3% in the population over the age of 65. Globally, it is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and due to the lack of early diagnosis and effective therapy, represents a large burden for society and healthcare provision. The underlying pathology of PD is associated with accumulation of abnormal clumps of alpha-synuclein protein termed Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in the central nervous system (CNS) that impede the normal function of brain cells. Evidence from animal studies indicates that the production of alpha-synuclein begins in the gut, and gastro-intestinal problems are a common feature of PD.

The gut contains millions of micro-organisms termed the microbiome. Over the past decade research findings have identified a complex bidirectional interaction between the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the central nervous system (CNS), the Gut-Brain axis. It is now known that the Gut-Brain axis is adversely affected by PD. Recently, probiotics have been proposed as a potential intervention for systemic and neurological conditions by improving microbiome composition.

Data obtained from this pilot study will be used to identify challenges in conducting research using probiotics in patients with Parkinson's Disease and provide a rationale for conducting a full-scale study including information that may reduce or eliminate problems that limit the successful delivery of a full-scale trial. The investigators will make no claims here about any purported clinical effects of the chosen probiotic.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 29 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Masking Description: Study is double blind design
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Can a 12-week Probiotic Intervention Improve Wellbeing in Parkinson's Disease? A Randomised Double-blind Placebo-controlled Feasibility Study
Actual Study Start Date : August 14, 2019
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 31, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 22, 2020

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Probiotic

Thirty five Parkinson's Disease patients group will be randomly assigned to this study arm.

Participants will take the liquid probiotic (Symprove) daily following manufacturers guidelines for a period of 12 weeks.

Other: Symprove
A liquid probiotic

Placebo Comparator: Placebo

Thirty five Parkinson's Disease patients group will be randomly assigned to this study arm.

Participants will take the liquid placebo daily for a period of 12 weeks following the same guidelines as for the probiotic.

Other: Symprove placebo product
An inert placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Patient Adherence to Study questionnaire [ Time Frame: Thirteen weeks from study start ]
    The patient experience questionnaire (Adherence To Study) provides data about patients' experience of taking part in the study to inform a full-scale trial. These data will enable evaluation of the patient experience of taking part in the study, the experience of providing two stool samples and taking a daily capful of the placebo or probiotic liquid. This scale is developed by the researcher's. The measure is a 5-point Likert scale that includes responses: Not at all, 2 = Not really, 3 = Somewhat, 4 = Quite a lot, 5 = Very much - in the first part of the questionnaire. A sample question is: Are you happy with the consent process for taking part in the research? Total score ranges from 6-30 - low score indicates dissatisfaction with the study method and information provided. Other questions in the scale require simple 'yes' and 'no' responses. For example, 'Were you comfortable providing a stool sample for the study?'

  2. Patient Exit Study Scale [ Time Frame: 12 and 24 weeks from study start date (only relevant for patients who withdrew). ]
    The patient exit study scale is designed to evaluate why patients did not or were unable to complete the study. The scale was devised by the researchers and comprised a 5-point Likert scale. Scores range from 7-35 with lower scores indicating dissatisfaction with particular elements of of study design, recruitment, and/or data collection. These data will inform the full-scale study

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Microbiome measurement: 16S rRNA gene sequencing and compositional analysis Microbiome measurement: 16S rRNA gene sequencing and compositional analysis for each patient at pre- and post-intervention [ Time Frame: First sample taken at week 1 of entry into study; second sample taken at week 13 after entry to study. ]
    A total of 140 samples for16S rRNAv4 Gene Sequencing and analysis n = 35 in each group, two groups (baseline and after probiotics/placebo treatment). Each patient will have two samples collected before and after probiotics/placebo treatment. Stool samples will be shipped to Diversigen (USA) for DNA extraction and sequencing

  2. The Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS): Fahn S, Elton R, UPDRS 1987, pp 153-163, 293-304 [ Time Frame: Measure to be completed at week 1 of entry into study; second evaluation completed at week 13 after entry to study. ]
    The UPDRS workbook measures: I. Mentation, Behaviour, Mood - Four Subscales: Range 0-4 Total range = 0-16. II. Activities of daily living - Thirteen Subscales: Range 0-4 Total: 0-52. III. Motor Examination - Fourteen Subscales: Range 0-4 Total range 0-56. Zero = absence of symptoms, 4 = most severe presence of symptoms for all scales. Hoehn and Yahr Staging scale 0-5 (0 = no symptoms, 5 = wheelchair bound or bedridden.

  3. The Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) Quality of Life Scale [ Time Frame: Measure to be completed at week 1 of entry into study; second evaluation completed at week 13 after entry to study. ]
    The user manual specifies that the questionnaire is particularly appropriate for use in clinical trials to assess treatments and interventions intended to benefit people with Parkinson's disease. Scale is 5-point Likert scale from 'Never' through to 'Always' with scores ranging from 0-4. Total score range = 0 - 156 (Lower score = better quality of life, higher score = poorer quality of life.

  4. The Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale [ Time Frame: Measure to be completed at week 1 of entry into study; second evaluation completed at week 13 after entry to study. ]
    The PDSS is a visual analogue scale addressing 15 commonly reported symptoms associated with sleep disturbance. Response options range from 0 = 'awful' to 10 = 'excellent' or 0 = 'always' to 10 = 'never.' Total score range from 0-150. Low scores indicate poor sleep or sleep related problems and high scores indicate good sleep quality.

  5. Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) [ Time Frame: Measure to be completed at week 1 of entry into study; second evaluation completed at week 13 after entry to study. ]
    This measure includes questions relating to 15 common gastrointestinal symptoms and requires patients to rate the severity of their symptoms over the past week or 2 weeks. It was developed from reviews of gastrointestinal symptoms and clinical experience, to evaluate common symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. Responses range from 1 = 'No discomfort at all' to 7 = 'Very severe discomfort.' Total score range is 15-105, where 15 indicates minimal discomfort and higher rating scores indicate significant or severe discomfort.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease based on UK PD Society Brain Bank criteria.
  • Capacity to consent and complete questionnaires.
  • Absence of gut/intestinal disorders that would prevent use of a probiotic and/or cause diarrhoea.
  • Absence of coincidental neurological condition.
  • Using l-dopa plus or minus a dopaminergic agonist.
  • Age over 18 and under 80

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unable to consent.
  • Use of systemic antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals or antiparasitics (intravenous, intramuscular, or oral).
  • Use of commercial probiotics: includes tablets, capsules, lozenges, chewing gum or powders in which probiotic is a primary component. Ordinary dietary components such as fermented beverages/milks, yogurts, foods do not apply.
  • Presence of acute viral/bacterial infection disease at the time of sampling (defer sampling until subject recovers). Acute disease is defined as the presence of a moderate or severe illness with or without fever.
  • Major surgery of the GI tract, with the exception of cholecystectomy and appendectomy, in the past five years. Any major bowel resection at any time.
  • History of active uncontrolled gastrointestinal disorders or diseases including: inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis (mild-moderate-severe), Crohn's disease (mild-moderate-severe), or indeterminate colitis.
  • Presence of persistent, infectious gastroenteritis, colitis or gastritis, persistent or chronic diarrhea of unknown etiology, Clostridium difficile infection (recurrent) or Helicobacter pylori infection (untreated).
  • Presence of incidental neurological illness.
  • Experience of any type of cancer or adenoma less than 5 years previously.
  • Age over 80

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04140760

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United Kingdom
Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom, S102JF
Sponsors and Collaborators
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Sheffield
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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Principal Investigator: Lynne A Barker, BSc (hons) PhD Sheffield Hallam University
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Responsible Party: Sheffield Hallam University Identifier: NCT04140760    
Other Study ID Numbers: 262286
First Posted: October 28, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 22, 2020
Last Verified: October 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Parkinson Disease
Parkinsonian Disorders
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Movement Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases