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Baylor College of Medicine

Intestinal Permeability in Depression (H-36114)



Does gut function affect depression?


This project is studying if teens between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age with depression have “leaky guts.” To study this, we ask the participants to fast overnight. When they come in in the morning for the visit, we give them a sugar cocktail to drink. The sugars include mannitol and lactulose, which are present in nature and sometimes found in our diet. We then ask them to collect their urine, to see how much of the sugars get into the urine. We then relate this information to feelings of depression by comparing teens with and to those without depression. We also collect stool samples to better understand the link between depression, gut function, and the gut bacteria. We hope this information will help us develop better treatments for depression.  

What does the study entail?

  • Two in-person visits at our clinic. Each in-person visit lasts about 4-5 hours.
  • Study participation will last for 6 months.
  • At each visit, participants will be asked to complete questionnaires, and memory games.  They will undergo a blood draw, a brief physical exam, measurement of the heart’s electrical activity (EKG), and possibly a brain scan (MRI). They will also be asked to give us stool and urine samples. Some of these activities are optional!
  • Participants are compensated $150-$350 depending on how much of the study they complete, in addition to reimbursement for transportation expenses. 
  • Participants will also receive a copy of their scans and a meal. 

Study requirements

  • Must be 12-17 years of age.
  • Diagnosed with depression and not currently on any psychiatric medications OR healthy kids with no medical conditions.

If you are interested in the study, please complete an online screening form.


Chadi Calarge Lab

Phone 1: 832–824–5002

IRB: H-36114




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