Central Nervous System Processing of Emotions in Children with Fecal Incontinence and Constipation

Equit M1, Niemczyk J2, Kluth A2, Thomas C2, Rubly M2, von Gontard A2. Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2018 Nov 19:1-5. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000638. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 1 Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie; Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany.

2 2 Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie; Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg, Germany.


OBJECTIVE: Fecal incontinence and constipation are common disorders in childhood. The enteric nervous system and the central nervous system are highly interactive along the brain-gut axis. The interaction is mainly afferent. These afferent pathways include centers that are involved in the central nervous processing of emotions as the mid/posterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex. A previous study revealed altered processing of emotions in children with fecal incontinence. The present study replicates these results.

METHODS: In order to analyze the processing of emotions, we compared the event-related potentials of 25 children with fecal incontinence and constipation to those of 15 control children during the presentation of positive, negative, and neutral pictures.

RESULTS: Children with fecal incontinence and constipation showed altered processing of emotions, especially in the parietal and central cortical regions.

CONCLUSIONS: The main study results of the previous study were replicated, increasing the certainty and validity of the findings.

© Copyright 2013-2021 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.