Exploring the Causal Effect of Constipation on Parkinson’s Disease Through Mediation Analysis of Microbial Data

Shih Chen Fu, Ling Chieh Shih, Pei Hua Wu, Yi Chen Hsieh, Chung Han Lee, Sheng Hsuan Lin*, Hsiuying Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Aims: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a worldwide neurodegenerative disease with an increasing global burden, while constipation is an important risk factor for PD. The gastrointestinal tract had been proposed as the origin of PD in Braak’s gut–brain axis hypothesis, and there is increasing evidence indicating that intestinal microbial alteration has a role in the pathogenesis of PD. In this study, we aim to investigate the role of intestinal microbial alteration in the mechanism of constipation-related PD. Methods: We adapted our data from Hill‐Burns et al., in which 324 participants were enrolled in the study. The 16S rRNA gene sequence data were processed, aligned, and categorized using DADA2. Mediation analysis was used to test and quantify the extent by which the intestinal microbial alteration explains the causal effect of constipation on PD incidence. Results: We found 18 bacterial genera and 7 species significantly different between groups of constipated and non-constipated subjects. Among these bacteria, nine genera and four species had a significant mediation effect between constipation and PD. All of them were short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria that were substantially related to PD. Results from the mediation analysis showed that up to 76.56% of the effect of constipation on PD was mediated through intestinal microbial alteration. Conclusion: Our findings support that gut dysbiosis plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of constipation-related PD, mostly through the decreasing of SCFA-producing bacteria, indicating that probiotics with SCFA-producing bacteria may be promising in the prevention and treatment of constipation-related PD. Limitations: 1) Several potential confounders that should be adjusted were not provided in the original dataset. 2) Our study was conducted based on the assumption of constipation being the etiology of PD; however, constipation and PD may mutually affect each other. 3) Further studies are necessary to explain the remaining 23.44% effect leading to PD by constipation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number871710
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 May 2022

Keywords

  • constipation
  • intestinal microbial changes
  • mediation analysis
  • microbiome
  • Parkinson’s disease

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