Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most prevalent disorder of brain-gut interactions that affects between 5 and 10% of the general population worldwide. The current symptom criteria restrict the diagnosis to recurrent abdominal pain associated with altered bowel habits, but the majority of patients also report non-painful abdominal discomfort, associated psychiatric conditions (anxiety and depression), as well as other visceral and somatic pain-related symptoms. For decades, IBS was considered an intestinal motility disorder, and more recently a gut disorder. However, based on an extensive body of reported information about central, peripheral mechanisms and genetic factors involved in the pathophysiology of IBS symptoms, a comprehensive disease model of brain-gut-microbiome interactions has emerged, which can explain altered bowel habits, chronic abdominal pain, and psychiatric comorbidities. In this review, we will first describe novel insights into several key components of brain-gut microbiome interactions, starting with reported alterations in the gut connectome and enteric nervous system, and a list of distinct functional and structural brain signatures, and comparing them to the proposed brain alterations in anxiety disorders. We will then point out the emerging correlations between the brain networks with the genomic, gastrointestinal, immune, and gut microbiome-related parameters. We will incorporate this newmore »
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A neuropsychosocial signature predicts longitudinal symptom changes in women with irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of brain-gut interactions characterized by chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel movements, often accompanied by somatic and psychiatric comorbidities. We aimed to test the hypothesis that a baseline phenotype composed of multi-modal neuroimaging and clinical features predicts clinical improvement on the IBS Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS) at 3 and 12 months without any targeted intervention. Female participants (
N= 60) were identified as “improvers” (50-point decrease on IBS-SSS from baseline) or “non-improvers.” Data integration analysis using latent components (DIABLO) was applied to a training and test dataset to determine whether a limited number of sets of multiple correlated baseline’omics data types, including brain morphometry, anatomical connectivity, resting-state functional connectivity, and clinical features could accurately predict improver status. The derived predictive models predicted improvement status at 3-months and 12-months with 91% and 83% accuracy, respectively. Across both time points, non-improvers were classified as having greater correlated morphometry, anatomical connectivity and resting-state functional connectivity characteristics within salience and sensorimotor networks associated with greater pain unpleasantness, but lower default mode network integrity and connectivity. This suggests that non-improvers have a greater engagement of attentional systems to perseverate on painful visceral stimuli, predicting IBS exacerbation. The ability ofmore »
Despite recent advances, there is still a major need to better understand the interactions between brain function and chronic gut inflammation and its clinical implications. Alterations in executive function have previously been identified in several chronic inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflammation-associated brain alterations can be captured by connectome analysis. Here, we used the resting-state fMRI data from 222 participants comprising three groups (ulcerative colitis (UC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and healthy controls (HC),
N= 74 each) to investigate the alterations in functional brain wiring and cortical stability in UC compared to the two control groups and identify possible correlations of these alterations with clinical parameters. Globally, UC participants showed increased functional connectivity and decreased modularity compared to IBS and HC groups. Regionally, UC showed decreased eigenvector centrality in the executive control network (UC < IBS < HC) and increased eigenvector centrality in the visual network (UC > IBS > HC). UC also showed increased connectivity in dorsal attention, somatomotor network, and visual networks, and these enhanced subnetwork connectivities were able to distinguish UC participants from HCs and IBS with high accuracy. Dynamic functional connectome analysis revealed that UC showed enhanced cortical stability in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which correlated with severe depression and anxiety-related measures. Nonemore »