Brain and Gut Interactions in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: New Paradigms and New Understandings

  • Enrique Coss-Adame
  • Satish S. C. RaoEmail author
Neurogastroenterology and Motility Disorders of the Gastrointestinal Tract (S Rao, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neurogastroenterology and Motility Disorders of the Gastrointestinal Tract


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Visceral hypersensitivity is believed to be a key underlying mechanism that causes pain. There is evidence that interactions within the brain and gut axis (BGA), that involves both the afferent-ascending and the efferent-descending pathways, as well as the somatosensory cortex, insula, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus, are deranged in IBS showing both the activation and inactivation. Clinical manifestations of IBS such as pain, altered gut motility, and psychological dysfunction may each be explained, in part, through the changes in the BGA, but there is conflicting information, and its precise role is not fully understood. A better understanding of the BGA may shed more knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of IBS that in turn may lead to the discovery of novel therapies for this common disorder.


Irritable bowel syndrome Brain-gut axis Cortical-evoked potentials Stress CRF Serotonin 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Rao and Dr. Coss-Adame declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical College of GeorgiaGeorgia Regents UniversityAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Section of Neurogastroenterology and MotilityAugustaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Gastroenterology, Neurgastroenterology and MotilityInstituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición “Salvador Zubirán”México CityMéxico

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