A Consultant at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has been awarded a prestigious research grant to fund a study into chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO).
CIPO is a rare disorder which reduces the speed of movement (motility) of food, fluids and air through the digestive systems. CIPO usually affects the mid-section of the digestive system (small bowel) worst and symptoms include severe pain and nausea.
The study, funded by the Pseudo Obstruction Research Trust, will aim to assess whether it is possible to undertake a definitive study to evaluate whether vagus nerve stimulation will reduce pain and nausea and improve small bowel motility and quality of life in patients with CIPO.
The vagus nerve is responsible for increasing digestive movements and also has important influences on reducing pain and nausea. This nerve can be stimulated by deep breathing techniques and also with a handheld device which electrically stimulates the nerve through the skin in the neck.
Dr Adam Farmer, Consultant Gastroenterologist at UHNM and Senior Lecturer at Keele University, was awarded the grant to undertake this research at UHNM.
He said: "This disorder is difficult to treat, as many of the drugs currently used to manage the symptoms of CIPO can further slow movement in the digestive system. Therefore, new treatments are urgently needed."
Prof Tony Fryer, R&D Director at UHNM, said: "This project provides a real opportunity to unlock a new way to treat patients with this rare condition. It illustrates the importance of research into the rarer conditions, so that as many people as possible have access to the latest technologies and treatments."
Information about the Pseudo Obstruction Research Trust:
Charity number: 1114217