Purpose of review: This review summarizes the recent progress in the epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of functional dyspepsia.
Recent findings: Epidemiological, pathophysiological and therapeutic studies continue to examine the Rome III-proposed subdivision of functional dyspepsia into epigastric pain syndrome and postprandial distress syndrome. Although epidemiological studies support the subdivision, studies in patient samples show major overlap. Several studies identified overlapping functional disorders and psychosocial comorbidity as major contributors to the severity of functional dyspepsia and its impact on quality of life. Central processing of visceral stimuli, and its role in the pathogenesis of functional dyspepsia, as well as low-grade inflammation in the duodenum are important emerging topics in pathophysiology research. Therapeutic studies have reported on prokinetic and fundus-relaxing drugs. Acotiamide is a first-in-class drug with both prokinetic and fundus-relaxing properties that was evaluated in the recent phase 2 and phase 3 trials in functional dyspepsia.
Summary: There is gradual progress in our understanding of the symptom pattern, impact and pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia. The areas of recent advances including the recognition of low-grade duodenal inflammation, central nervous system processing and the exploration of novel pharmacotherapeutic approaches are summarized in this review.