Gut bacteria’s association with the symptoms of MS?

Dr Wolfgang Marx

Deakin University

| Causes and Prevention | Immunology | Incubator | 2018 | Investigator Led Research |
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Summary

This project is investigating the gut microbiome or the overall composition of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in gut bacteria have been suggested to contribute to the progression of MS and enhancement of MS symptoms. Since the bacterial composition might be modifiable, it is vitally important to determine its contribution to MS.

This study will investigate the gut bacteria of people with MS who are undertaking an existing clinical trial. The trial is a 16-week trial testing the effects of dietary supplements on depression and fatigue in MS. Dr Marx and his team will be looking at the gut bacteria of 150 people with MS who are participating in the trial to examine whether there are any changes their gut bacteria during the trial and whether the composition of the gut bacteria influences the clinical severity or progression of their disease.

Progress to Date

The restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic led to some delays in recruiting participants but despite this, 41 people are currently participating in the study. Due to the pandemic, modifications were made to allow remote data collection so that the study can continue to recruit new people. During the coming year, it is expected that collected samples will be processed and analysed, together with food diaries and baseline clinical data such as fatigue and depression scores from the study participants.

Updated: 14 April 2021

Updated: 02 January, 2018

Investigator

  • Dr Wolfgang Marx, Deakin University

Co-investigator

  • Professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  • Professor Robyn Lucas, Australian National University
  • Professor Mimi Tang, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $24,110

Duration

  • 5 years

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Gut bacteria’s association with the symptoms of MS?