Neuromodulators in the Brain-Gut Axis: their Role in the Therapy of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a clinically well-defined chronic condition that is now understood as a disorder of gut-brain regulation, as established in the work of the Rome IV committees coordinated by Drossman, 2016. People with IBS often report high disability levels and poor health-related quality of life. Drug therapy focuses on reducing main symptoms and disability and improving health-related quality of life. Central neuromodulators reduce IBS symptoms by targeting dysregulated pain and motility related to gut-brain dysregulation. It can also treat associated mental health symptoms. Based on their multiple effects on central and peripheral mechanisms, neuromodulators have been used to treat IBS patients. This review presents the rationale supporting medication treatments for specific IBS symptoms, discusses evidence-based management of IBS with central neuromodulators, and reviews the progress in the research for new neuromodulators.