COVID-19 Social Distancing April Update: We hope you are managing during this difficult period. Tips on managing feelings of stress, anxiety and distress are available here.

Please note that the Bugs and Brains Study has finalized recruitment for Phases 2 and 3, involving the interview assessment and collection of biological specimens. Recruitment for the online questionnaire-only component of the study is still ongoing. Please contact us here if you would like further information about participating or have any questions.

There is growing interest in the link between the human microbiome (i.e., bacteria that live in our bodies) and human health. The Bugs and Brains Study is aiming to better understand the role of the microbiome, particularly in relation to some common mental and physical health conditions. We are also interested in learning about how the microbiome is related to biological functions (such as levels of hormones and inflammation), stress, and wellbeing. Please click on the Background tab for detailed background information about the study.

Participation in the Bugs and Brains Study involves the completion of online questionnaires, an interview, and the collection of faecal, urine, saliva, and hair samples. Participants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for, or would prefer not to take part in, the biological samples, will be asked to complete the online questionnaires only.

The main aim of the Bugs and Brains Study is to compare the microbial and physiological profiles of four groups of people:

  1. healthy adult women
  2. women with depression &/or anxiety disorders (who are not currently taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication),
  3. women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and
  4. women with both depression &/or anxiety and IBS.

While we have completed recruitment of participants who fit into these four groups, we are still inviting females aged 18-40 to complete the questionnaire-only component of our study. Click on the "Am I Eligible' to find out more.