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The key to revealing the mechanisms and improving therapy of functional bowel disorders lies in the collaborative efforts among basic scientists, clinical investigators, physicians and behavioral-ists. Progress in better understanding of the sensory mediators and the causes of visceral


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afferent dysfunction should lead to treatments that reduce the visceral perception or reflex motor responses that lead to symptoms. We should continue to pursue investigations looking for biological markers of this group of disorders. Education of patients and physicians on the nature and therapy of this group of conditions, in conjunction with early identification of psychosocial variables and development of better therapies, are fundamental strategies in order to reduce patient suffering and the elevated costs to society associated with functional bowel disorders.

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