The study, funded through the Pseudo Obstruction Research Trust, will use human stomach to measure the contractions of the muscle and record and analyse anomalies with this rhythm because it's this dysfunction that is thought to promote the experience of nausea in patients with gut dysmotility.

The approach taken by the team will be entirely novel, focusing on understanding the mechanistic pathway involved in spontaneous muscle contractions rather than the specific cells that are responsible for this function.

The work will be undertaken within the human tissue laboratory at the National Bowel Research Centre using human tissue models already piloted by the team.

The researchers

The study is being led by Professor Gareth Sanger, Professor of Neuropharmacology at the National Bowel Centre, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Why study a new approach to gastroparesis and nausea?

Nausea can be utterly debilitating and is often associated with conditions where there is known disruption or dysmotility of the digestive system, such as gastroparesis and pseudo obstruction. Though there are treatments to control vomiting, none such exist for nausea. There is therefore a real and pressing need to develop treatments in this area.

It is thought that the disorder in the way the gut is moving in these conditions leads to the sensation of nausea. This study in human tissue will help to pinpoint this mechanism, paving the way to the development of new treatments to help patients who suffer constantly with nausea.