Bugs on the brain; Brain in the gut - Seeking explanations for common gastrointestinal symptoms

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion (or dyspepsia), bloating, distension, constipation, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea are extremely common worldwide. For some, such symptoms can prove to be chronic and disabling. Methods: The recent literature on irritable bowel syndrome and, in particular, work emanating form this authors research group, was reviewed. Results: These functional symptoms commonly occur in aggregations, referred to as functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). Some of the FGIDs and, most notably irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), have achieved a degree of scientific and clinical credibility as coherent entities. Several lines of evidence ranging from gut motility to the microbiota are under investigation in attempts to explain IBS or its symptomatology. Conclusion: Though biomarkers for IBS and other FGIDs have proven elusive, considerable progress has been made in understanding possible aetiological factors in IBS; progress which may well lead to better therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIrish Journal of Medical Science
Volume182
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • Cytokines
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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