Understanding the Neurocognitive Effects of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Major Depressive Disorder Patients with and without Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Major depressive disorder (MDD) and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome are common, life-disrupting and highly recurrent illnesses and can co-occur in patients. Unfortunately, 30–40% of patients do not respond to currently available antidepressant drugs or stop taking them because of unpleasant side effects such as obesity or diabetes. Therefore, there is clearly a need to explore alternative treatment options that are more effective and tolerable for individuals with MDD. Here we assess such an alternative, fecal microbiota transfer.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Male, Female

Eligible ages: 18 to 60

Inclusion criteria:

MDD Patients meeting the following criteria will be approached for study enrolment:
1) Between 18-60 years of age:
2) Have a primary diagnosis of MDD
3) Are currently depressed
4) Are currently taking an approved antidepressant
5) Have had an inadequate response to at least 2 approved antidepressants

IBS patients meeting the following criteria will be approached for study enrolment:
1) Have a confirmed primary diagnosis of IBS.

Exclusion criteria:

Patients are not eligible to participate if they have / are
1) Moderate or severe Substance Use Disorder for Cannabis use the last 3 months or meet Substance Use criteria for other substances (alcohol, drugs, etc)
2) Active Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa
3) Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective or Bipolar Disorder
4) Active suicidality
5) Regular intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or iron supplements for medical purposes
6) Clinically diagnosed chronic gastrointestinal diseases (IBD, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Celiac disease)
7) Conditions causing immunosuppression
8) Breastfeeding, pregnant or seeking to get pregnant during the course of this study


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Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Participants who are interested in the study can contact us by email: imafmt@ucalgary.ca or phone.

Principal investigator:

Valerie Taylor

Clinical trial: