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Fundamentals of neurogastroenterology
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Abstract

Current concepts and basic principles of neurogastroenterology in relation to functional gastrointestinal disorders are reviewed. Neurogastroenterology is emphasized as a new and advancing subspecialty of clinical gastroenterology and digestive science. As such, it embraces the investigative sciences dealing with functions, malfunctions, and malformations in the brain and spinal cord, and the sympathetic, parasympathetic and enteric divisions of the autonomic innervation of the digestive tract. Somatomotor systems are included insofar as pharyngeal phases of swallowing and pelvic floor involvement in defecation, continence, and pelvic pain are concerned. Inclusion of basic physiology of smooth muscle, mucosal epithelium, and the enteric immune system in the neurogastroenterologic domain relates to requirements for compatibility with neural control mechanisms. Psychologic and psychiatric relations to functional gastrointestinal disorders are included because they are significant components of neurogastroenterology, especially in relation to projections of discomfort and pain to the digestive tract.

  • enteric nervous system
  • brain–gut axis
  • autonomic nervous system
  • nausea
  • gut motility
  • mast cells
  • gastrointestinal pain
  • Rome II
  • Abbreviations used in this paper

    CNS
    central nervous system
    ENS
    enteric nervous system
    FGID
    functional gastrointestinal disorder
    NTS
    nucleus tractus solitarius
    DVN
    dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus
    IBS
    irritable bowel syndrome
    ICC
    interstitial cells of Cajal
    5-HT
    5-hydroxytryptamine
    TRH thyrotropin releasing hormone
    CRF, corticotropin releasing factor
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  • Abbreviations used in this paper

    CNS
    central nervous system
    ENS
    enteric nervous system
    FGID
    functional gastrointestinal disorder
    NTS
    nucleus tractus solitarius
    DVN
    dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus
    IBS
    irritable bowel syndrome
    ICC
    interstitial cells of Cajal
    5-HT
    5-hydroxytryptamine
    TRH thyrotropin releasing hormone
    CRF, corticotropin releasing factor
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