Topic Highlight Open Access
Copyright ©2008 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 7, 2008; 14(17): 2630-2630
Published online May 7, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.2630
Editorial statement
Published online: May 7, 2008


In the following eight articles we have provided an overview of the current research and epidemiology of two leading chronic gastrointestinal conditions that affect populations across the globe. The challenges of accurately diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are covered and the pathophysiology of constipation is thoroughly explored. Both standard and innovation strategies for the treatment of IBS are discussed, including 5-HT4 antagonists, surgery and the use of probiotics. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses several multifactorial conditions including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and pouchitis. An alarming link between IBD and colorectal cancer has been made, which heightens the importance of preventive colonoscopic screening. Treatment for IBD may involve immunomodulators, biologic agents and surgery. Technologic advances that increase the detection of etiologic agents for IBD are being developed and may help in the development of better therapeutic strategies for these complex conditions. I hope these articles will inspire clinicians and researchers to focus their efforts on preventing the development of these conditions before irreversible damage occurs and the difficult job of treating these patients is required.

2625 State-of-the-art of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease research in 2008

McFarland LV

2630 Editorial statement

McFarland LV

2631 Pathophysiology of constipation in the older adult

McCrea GL, Miaskowski C, Stotts NA, Macera L, Varma MG

2639 Updates on treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

Hammerle CW, Surawicz CM

2650 Meta-analysis of probiotics for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

McFarland LV, Dublin S

2662 Colorectal cancer and dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease

Zisman TL, Rubin DT

2670 Controversies in the treatment of Crohn’s disease: The case for an accelerated step-up treatment approach

Shergill AK, Terdiman JP

2678 Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease

Hwang JM, Varma MG