Research Study

Treating bipolar disorder with fecal transplantation

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Do you have bipolar disorder?

We are conducting a study to determine if fecal microbiota transplantation will improve depression symptoms for patients with bipolar disorder when it is used along with approved medication.

Every person has a microbiome, made up of complex communities of microbes that we carry on and in our bodies. Evidence is mounting that microbes in the gut are linked to mental health. In particular, patients with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder seem to have different gut microbes than healthy people.

Studies like ours are investigating new potential therapies for psychiatric illness based on our growing understanding of the role microbes play in our health. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a technique that transfers gut bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient with the goal of introducing or restoring a stable community of microbes. We will randomize participants in our study to one of two groups. One group will receive FMT from a healthy donor, and the control group will receive fecal matter transplantation using their own stool.

Our study will investigate the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation in patients with bipolar disorder.

CTV National News - Is bipolar disorder linked to gut bacteria?

Who Can Participate?

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You can withdraw from this study at any time.

If you are interested in participating, you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • You have a diagnosis of Bipolar I or II
  • You have been receiving regular treatment for at least 8 weeks
  • You are still experiencing depressive phases
  • You must not be pregnant or breastfeeding

Why Should You Participate?

Participating in this study will help us understand the relationship between gut microbes and mental health and investigate a new potential treatment. This knowledge could give patients more options when they seek treatment for mental illness. This study is also part of the larger Microbiota Therapeutics Outcomes Program, which is studying a range of chronic illnesses.

What Does Participation Involve?

Participants will come to Women’s College Hospital for 15 visits, each two weeks apart. You will be paid $25 after each visit.

How to participate

Please contact Teresa Bianco, Research Coordinator, Women’s College Hospital by email or phone at 416-323-6400 ext 2301.

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Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)