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The Role of Brain Imaging in Functional GI Disorders Working Team

Since the last Brain Imaging Working Team report published in 2009 (Neurogastroenterol Motil 2009;21:579-596), there has been an exponential growth in publications related to brain imaging approaches to study symptom based disorders, including chronic pain, disorders of mood and affect and functional GI disorders. In addition to the traditional fMRI and PET approaches, there also has been a dramatic expansion of imaging technologies (including resting state, structural, diffusion tensor imaging, MR spectroscopy, optical imaging, magnetic encephalography) and analysis strategies (including multivariate, connectivity, machine learning). The integration of insights gained from brain imaging data with those obtained from a) peripheral biological investigations and b)epidemiological and psychosocial studies has been slow.

The Working Team will review and integrate published findings from the fields of chronic pain, disorders of mood and affect and FGIDs, identify the key relevance of these findings for a better understanding for the pathophysiology of FGIDs, for biomarker identification and for a better understanding of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches. A particular emphasis will be placed on identifying clinically relevant applications of the knowledge gained from these studies in terms of a better understanding of the pathophysiology of FGIDs, and in terms of the development and assessment of more effective treatments. Based on these insights, the Team will make recommendations for future study design to address gaps in current knowledge.

Working Team members:
Emeran Mayer, M.D. Chair
Qasim Aziz, M.D. Co-chair

Emeran A. Mayer, MD, Chair


Qasim Aziz, M.D. Co-chair

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