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Translational advances in faecal incontinence and anterior resection syndrome

39 months
Approved budget:
Professor Gregory O'Grady
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
This project aims to achieve fundamental progress in two deeply distressing diseases: faecal incontinence and anterior resection syndrome (bowel dysfunction after surgery). These disorders are common (13% in NZ) but are poorly understood and diagnosis and therapy are often unsuccessful. We will achieve progress by applying a new generation of medical devices. ‘High-definition’ technologies will be applied to understand the physiology of the human anus and rectum in health and disease, and to help optimise nerve stimulation therapy. Magnetic nerve stimulation and high-definition anal sphincter recordings will be applied to define the role of birthing injuries and other nerve disorders, and computer models will be built to aid understanding and communication. Overall, this research will help to alleviate the burden of chronic suffering in these common disorders, by unraveling root causes and enabling improved diagnosis and therapy.