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New study examines brain-gut relationship in those suffering with stomach pain or discomfort
Date:9/5/2007

A new clinical study will explore the brain-gut interaction in patients with functional dyspepsia and whether certain drugs can effectively relieve symptoms of this disorder. Functional dyspepsia is a costly and chronic disorder that can cause severe stomach pain often reported as cramping, bloating, and gas, or great discomfort or fullness after eating. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at six medical centers in the U.S.

The Functional Dyspepsia Treatment Trial (FDTT) will determine if either of two FDA-approved drugs that act on both the brain and the gut are better than placebo in relieving stomach pain, or discomfort after meals, in patients with functional dyspepsia. The study will also determine whether certain genes can predict who will best respond or not respond to the medicines. Finally, the trial will determine whether participants have a continued response for six months after the medicines are stopped.

Functional dyspepsia is a commonly diagnosed disorder. The symptoms are thought to be the result of abnormal muscle activity within the stomach, which may be caused by abnormal sensitivity of the nerves in the stomach or irregular signals from the brain to the muscles in the gut. "While we do not know the exact cause of functional dyspepsia, we do know that the disorder can cause chronic and sometimes debilitating symptoms that can have a dramatic effect on the quality of life for functional dyspepsia suffers," said Patricia Robuck, Ph.D., M.P.H., project scientist for FDTT and director of the Clinical Trials Program of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the sponsor of the FDTT at NIH. "We are interested in learning more about the brain-gut interaction and physiological effects of these two similar but different classes of drugs on the symptoms associated with functional dyspepsia."

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Contact: Leslie Curtis
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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