Brain-Gut Therapies for Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Person H1, Keefer L2. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2019 Mar 12;21(4):12. doi: 10.1007/s11894-019-0683-8.


Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave Place, Box 1656, New York, NY, 10029, USA. hannibal.person@mssm.edu.

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to discuss current knowledge of brain-gut therapies (BGT) in pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including their evidence base, the common psychopathology that they address, and the integration of this knowledge into medical settings.

RECENT FINDINGS: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy (HT), mindfulness-based therapy (MBT), and exposure-based therapy (EBT) have the most data supporting their use in children, particularly in FGID, more so than in IBD. This difference is most likely because of the increased role of psychological factors in FGID, though these same factors can be seen comorbidly in IBD. Integrative BGT treatment strategies with the collaboration of clinicians across disciplines may provide the most benefit to patients. This review details our current understanding of the evidence for BGT in pediatric FGID and IBD and how they may best be used in treatment strategies.

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