The project aims to research the effects of intestinal microbiota on the imbalance of body fat, mood and behaviour in patients with anorexia nervosa to help shape future treatments for the disorder.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious psychiatric disorder characterised by a severe restriction of food consumption, weight loss, anxiety and depression.
One in 20 Australians suffer from anorexia (2016) and it has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. As the window of opportunity for a successful outcome of treatment fades after three to four years, early identification and intervention is critical.
Compelling data implicate an important, yet unestablished, role of intestinal microbiota in the maintenance of and recovery from anorexia nervosa. This project brings together world experts in eating disorders, clinical psychology, gastroenterology and Australian's national voice in eating disorders to test the role of intestinal microbiota in patients with anorexia.
Our ultimate goal is to inform practitioners and policy makers on how best to tailer treatments simply by getting patients to do a poo test on hospital admission!