Gut-brain Health in Huntington's Disease

The gut is getting a lot of attention by scientists and doctors. Surprisingly, it’s now known that the gut and brain interact extensively. The gut is known to affect mood, thinking abilities, and overall quality of life. How the gut affects mood and cognition in Huntingtin’s disease is not known yet.

How am I investigating gut health in HD?

In my research, I am measuring bacteria inside the gut, and then testing probiotics as a treatment to improve thinking abilities, mood and quality of life in HD.

What will we learn from this research?

This will be the first clinical study to investigate the gut in Huntington’s disease. By understanding its role in HD, we hope to find out whether the gut could be a potential target for treatment.

Who is eligible?

  • Men and women, 18 - 65 years old.
  • People with a diagnosis of Huntington’s disease.
  • People without a diagnosis of Huntington’s disease.
  • No diagnosis of Coeliac’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, or Crohn’s disease
  • No allergies to yeast.
  • Must not have taken oral antibiotics in the past 2 months.
  • No history of neurological injury (e.g. traumatic brain injury, stroke).

What will you need to do?

  • Fill in a short screening form to make sure you are eligible for the study.
  • Take either probiotic or placebo tablets for 6 weeks.
  • Come in to Monash University Clayton for two 1.5 hour sessions to fill in some questionnaires, and complete some computerised tasks
  • Provide two stool samples (equipment provided; so we can measure your gut levels).

Where will you need to go?

You will need to meet with me face-to-face for two 1.5-hour testing sessions at Monash University Clayton Campus. You will be reimbursed for your time for both sessions.

Ethics Approval: Monash University Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC) 8031

About HRGV

HRGV aims to advance knowledge about the cause(s), pathogenesis, clinical and social impacts of Huntington’s disease and related disorders and to develop and implement scientific strategies promising therapeutic and psychosocial interventions.

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Participants Required

We require participants for our numerous studies. Most studies offer some form of compensation for your time. Please take some time to look at our available studies here and help us improve treatment outcomes for people with Huntington's Disease. You can also sign up for our Participant Registry and be kept up to date with research projects that are relevant to you!

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