Financing: DISCOvERIE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848228
Duration: January 2020 – December 2024
The DISCOvERIE consortium represents a renowned group of clinical and research experts and opinion leaders in the field of neuro-gastroenterology, psychiatric disorders and somatic pain disorders.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. However, there are a significant number of IBS patients, up to 60-70%, whose clinical severity is greatly magnified by the presence of mental (anxiety, depression) and somatic (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome) comorbidities in addition to the already debilitating GI symptoms. While much has been gained recently in the understanding of the origin of IBS-alone, current knowledge on the aetiology and pathophysiology of comorbid IBS is poor and overtly unproven, rendering strategies for prevention, positive diagnosis, and prognosis unsatisfactory and inefficient due to the lack of sensitive and specific biomarkers. As a direct consequence, this particular niche of comorbid patients seems to behave differently to patients with IBS- alone, with treatment failure and extremely detrimental impaired quality of life being the rule, mainly as a result of the lack of specific management strategies. DISCOvERIE proposes a personalised medicine solution to the problem.
Not all IBS patients are the same. IBS patients with mental and somatic comorbidities represent a distinctive clinical population compared with patients who suffer from IBS-alone. Therefore, comorbid IBS needs innovative tools and a more personalised medicine approach. Our consortium is driven to advance the understanding of the causative mechanisms of the most frequent and demanding mental (depression and anxiety) and somatic comorbid conditions (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome) affecting IBS. Our proposal will integrate detailed epidemiological, phenotypic, and mechanistic data with environmental, social, and intrinsic determinants of disease origin and development. This integrative approach has only recently started to be employed in IBS research, and has not yet been performed in large-scale studies in a coordinated fashion. DISCOvERIE has been strategically designed to deliver innovative solutions applicable to routine clinical management to provide a personalised medical approach with benefits for patients and their relatives, as well as to the society and healthcare systems across Europe.