Brain-Gut Therapies for Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Hannibal PersonEmail author
  • Laurie Keefer
Pediatric Gastroenterology (S Orenstein and S Khan, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Gastroenterology


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to discuss current knowledge of brain-gut therapies (BGT) in pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including their evidence base, the common psychopathology that they address, and the integration of this knowledge into medical settings.

Recent Findings

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy (HT), mindfulness-based therapy (MBT), and exposure-based therapy (EBT) have the most data supporting their use in children, particularly in FGID, more so than in IBD. This difference is most likely because of the increased role of psychological factors in FGID, though these same factors can be seen comorbidly in IBD. Integrative BGT treatment strategies with the collaboration of clinicians across disciplines may provide the most benefit to patients.


This review details our current understanding of the evidence for BGT in pediatric FGID and IBD and how they may best be used in treatment strategies.


Functional gastrointestinal disorders Pediatrics Brain-gut therapies Irritable bowel syndrome Inflammatory bowel disease Psychological treatments Cognitive behavioral therapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Laurie Keefer reports personal fees from MetaMe Connect and non-financial support from Rome Foundation Board of Directors outside the submitted work.

Hannibel Person declares 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 any of the authors.


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

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of GastroenterologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of GastroenterologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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