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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Gastroenterology specialist Dr. Paul Moayyedi describes why a network of researchers across Canada is studying causes and possibilities for relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This podcast explores:

  • Why Dr. Moayyedi is a proponent of evidence-based medicine and how this directs the nature of his studies on bowel diseases and how gut bacteria affects health.
  • How the Imagine Network, a live cohort study involving at least 8,000 participants, is the appropriate way to tackle the complicated microbiome of the bowel. 
  • What are roadblocks to current handling of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and how fecal transplants may be the best immediate solution.

Dr. Moayyedi, Professor, Division of Gastroenterology at the Department of Medicine with MacMaster University, is principal investigator with Imagine Network, a study encompassing multiple disciplines, from gastroenterology specialists to psychiatrists, observing what changes in variables over time for IBS and IBD patients.

While the study centers on bowel diseases, it looks at aspects in addition to the gut microbiome such as mental health, diet, and inflammation. Findings many benefit patients from Crohn’s disease suffers to those testing for gastric cancer. 

He explains that the human gut, with the highest concentration of bacteria on the planet, is very difficult to study. Most diagnostics only offer a small snapshot. A colonoscopy, for example uncovers only a single element in gastric cancer, while many bowel diseases are for more complex. The Imagine Network approaches these diseases through multiple angles instead to get a fuller picture.

One promising aspect of their work involves fecal transplants (which more accurately means the introduction of fecally-contaminated water), which changes the gut bacteria. They were the first to start randomized trials with fecal transplants and its effect on ulcerative colitis.

They’ve found about a quarter of the patients found relief from the disease through these transplants. Dr. Moayyedi hopes they will encounter what drives such diseases through these studies.

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