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Irritable bowel syndrome can have genetic causes
Date:12/10/2008

urbances in fluid balance could explain the occurrence of diarrhea", says Johannes Kapeller, a PhD student in the team.

Medication blocks serotonin receptors

The serotonin receptor blocker Alosetron is only approved in the US where it is effectively used in the treatment of women suffering from diarrhea-predominant IBS, but can only be prescribed with strict limitations due to its side effects. Alosetron inhibits the serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract and thus slows the movement of the bowels.

"Currently, patients with irritable bowel syndrome are treated on a trial and error basis"", explains Dr. Beate Niesler. The Heidelberg data could contribute to development and prescription of specific medications for certain genetic mutations in patients.

Correlation with depression and pain

Research of the serotonin system shows interesting correlations sero-tonin receptors are located on neural transduction pathways involved in pain perception and influence them which could explain why patients with irritable bowel syndrome often complain of severe pain although no pathological changes such as infections or tumors are present. It has also been noted that persons with modified receptors suffer more frequently from depression.


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Contact: Dr. Annette Tuffs
annette.tuffs@med.uni-heidelberg.de
0049-622-156-4536
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert

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