Summary

Antipsychotic medications often fail to treat the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia, a core symptom of the disease, and better treatments are required. The gut microbiome has been implicated in cognition function and mental health. Surprisingly, cognition is not routinely assessed as part of standard clinical care of people with schizophrenia.

This study aims to:

  1. examine the link between the gut microbiome and cognition in schizophrenia, and
  2. determine the feasibility of implementing cognitive testing in people with schizophrenia. The research team is a collaboration of scientists and clinicians who bring specific expertise in cognitive testing in people with schizophrenia, as well as sample analysis of the gut microbiome.

The research team is a collaboration of scientists and clinicians who bring specific expertise in cognitive testing in people with schizophrenia, as well as sample analysis of the gut microbiome.

Our study will provide the first insights into the relationship between the gut microbiome and cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia, and determine whether it is feasible to implement cognitive testing as standard clinical practice for patient care in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Through these results, we will be able to identify gut microbes to target as potential novel therapeutics in the treatment of schizophrenia through dietary or pro-biotic interventions. Our results will also provide some evidence for recommendations to clinicians for improving patient care in terms of assessing cognition as routine clinical practice.

Funding body

Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute

Scheme name

Collaborative Research Grant

Years funded

2018

Lead institution

University of Wollongong