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Studies assess effectiveness of serotonin and nerve stimulants on irritable bowel syndromes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2007) Studies have shown that gastrointestinal (GI) tract function is often influenced by specific stimulants or reactors, which sometimes cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation. Two studies presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 (DDW) take a closer look at GI stimulation, including one examining the role of serotonin and reactions to certain types of foods and another looking at the potential therapeutic value of nerve stimulation for constipation. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"We know that conditions of the bowel, such as constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, are quite troubling for a large number of individuals. These conditions can be highly volatile and unpredictable, but we are still trying to determine how we can manage these variables and what preventive or treatment options may help patients who suffer from these conditions," said Alan Buchman, M.D., MSPH, AGAF, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University School of Medicine. "These two studies point to options that may help doctors manage symptoms in their patients and hopefully lead to better treatment options in the future."

Olfactory Receptors on Human Intestinal Enterochromaffin (EC) Cells Function as Sensors for Spices and Odorants (Abstract #W1581)

One primary research focus in GI disorders is how and why the system reacts to certain foods or other stimulants; specifically, researchers are investigating the primary factors responsible for regulating digestion. Enterochromaffin (EC) cells, which are present throughout the digestive system, release serotonin (a chemical associated with the etiology of various diseases such as migraine, diarrhea, respiratory disturbances and hypertension) and are important in regulating gut motility. Researchers from the Tec
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Contact: Aimee Frank
AFrank@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
21-May-2007


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