Irritable bowel syndrome may be induced by decreased neuroplasticity.

  Vol. 35 (8) 2014 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2014; 35(8): 655-665 PubMed PMID:  25702292    Citation  Keywords:  Humans, Irritable Bowel Syndrome:etiology, Neuronal Plasticity:physiology,.   

: Neuroplasticity is the nervous system's ability to respond to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, function and connections. And the nervous system monitors and coordinates internal organ function. Thus neuroplasticity may also be associated with the pathogenesis of other diseases besides neuropsychiatric diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. The digestive system is controlled by the nervous system, mainly by the autonomic nervous system. Stress may lead to depression/anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is commonly comorbid with depression/anxiety, which are disorders of decreased neuroplasticity. And the mechanisms of depression/anxiety and IBS are related. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, hippocampus, amygdala and stress-related factors and hormones, such as corticotropin-releasing factor, glucocorticoids and brain-derived neurotrophic factor are involved in both neuroplasticity and the pathogenesis of depression/anxiety and IBS. So we conclude that decreased neuroplasticity causes the comorbidity of depression/anxiety and IBS, and increased neuroplasticity may be beneficial against the development of IBS. This theory provides another angle that can explain some of the reported phenomena related to IBS and neuropsychiatry, and provide a potential treatment to protect against IBS.

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