The process of drug development, review, delivery, and use is one that involves many stakeholders, including industries, regulators, physicians, and patients. All play roles that influence treatment outcomes. The illness experiences and perceptions of patients are key components to understanding a disease and providing safe and effective treatments. Looking at the experience of the IBS community with the drug alosetron as an example, this article reflects upon how treatment delivery can break down, and actions that can help ensure that safer, effective, treatments are made available to patients in need.
There is a growing understanding of the multi-faceted nature of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms, behaviors, and treatment outcomes for individuals with these disorders relate to disturbances in gastrointestinal motility and sensation that is effected by interactions that take place via the brain-gut axis. To understand and study these conditions, physicians and researchers must become familiar with evolving knowledge that integrates basic science, physiology, clinical medicine, psychology, and psychiatry. Indicated below are some of the highlights of the presentations at the 4th International Symposium for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, which we believe truly reflect the developing areas of research in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Our understanding of the functional GI disorders is changing, including the mechanisms that contribute to symptom generation, methods of assessing and diagnosing the disorders, and approaches to treatment. As indicated by data presented across multiple disciplines at this symposium - basic, mechanistic, physiological, clinical, and epidemiological - the clinical expression of the functional GI disorders includes a composite of several physiological components. In effect, there is no one factor that appears to be involved in the development of the disorders (etiology), nor is there one specific treatment.
A summary of presentations from over 80 experts that address the way research and science are improving our understanding of functional GI disorders, and the new avenues being investigated. Topics are covered such as, who is more likely to get a functional GI disorder, how do brain-gut interactions influence symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approaches, and what's new on the treatment horizon.
Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Understanding Pain and Discomfort in Functional GI Disorders203
Pain, a burning or otherwise uncomfortable sensation in the upper abdomen, nausea, or fullness - all of these are symptoms many patients list when they seek medical advice. While we may think of ulcers, gallstones or perhaps inflammation of the pancreas as the cause, all too often even extensive and sophisticated testing does not show any abnormalities. So, why do all these persons feel pain or any of the other symptoms they report?Topics: Dyspepsia, pain in upper abdomen or chest, Inflammation, Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain, Pain Management, Research
Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unraveling the Code211
Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner – Some common medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches may be stress-related. Understanding of the mind and body's responses called upon during stress may provide insight on the underlying cause of IBS and open the door to new and more effective treatment. "Stress" is a term doctors use to describe normal responses in the body that are needed for health and survival. Our bodies regularly respond to the constant flow of changes that happen around and within us. CRF is the brain's "stress hormone." When stimulated, it interacts with many systems within the body. These interactions include those between the brain and the digestive tract. They effect whether or not we feel discomfort or pain, and the way our bowels move. In some people, the stress response is overactive. When the stress response is out of balance, unwanted symptoms can result.
Everybody has gas in his or her digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach, small intestine/bowel, and large intestine/bowel). What is happening that causes painful or uncomfortable symptoms associated with gas in some persons while not in others? Report from this 2005 IFFGD Research Award Winner.Topics: Bacteria, gut flora, Diet, Foods, Gas, Bloating, Belching, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Research
The 7th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders was held in Milwaukee on April 12–15, 2007. The meeting was sponsored by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), in cooperation with the Functional Brain Gut Group (FBG).
This report highlights just some of the information presented at the Symposium. Nevertheless the information herein identifies several of the newer and more important research emerging in the field. Clearly many pieces of the puzzle are emerging, which will benefit patients with functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders.
Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Role of the Central Immune System in Functional Disorders225
A new concept of activation of immune cells within the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain and the spinal cord, has been proposed as a major factor contributing to the generation and maintenance of chronic pain.
Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Searching for Underlying Causes229
Dr. Simrén is a 2007 IFFGD Research Award recipient. His main research areas are the causes and development of functional GI disorders. In this article, Dr. Simrén discusses his research into the role of food and nutrients for gut function in IBS, and the link between different alterations of function and the symptom pattern of the patient.
Documents listed on this page are available for download in Adobe’s PDF format. If you don’t have Adobe Reader, please visit Adobe’s site to download it. It’s free!