Department of General… Research Research areas

Microbial, cognitive and psychophysiological changes in patients with irritable bowel syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disease and affects about 11% of the adult population worldwide. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can include abdominal pain, cramps, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation. Furthermore, IBS is often associated with psychopathological problems (such as an increased prevalence of anxiety or depressive diseases).  IBS is understood as a disorder of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, whereby the individual (active) factors are still unclear.

Our study aims to understand how these factors are related on an individual level. Therefore, we analyze microbiota, do psychophysiological tests and use questionnaire data.

Project management

Dr. med. Felicitas Engel


Working group: Felicitas Engel, MD, Judith Schwienbacher, Sabrina Berens, M.Sc.

Cooperation partners: Annika Gauss, Prof.; Beate Niesler, Prof.

Duration: 2020-2025

Funded by: Funds of the University of Heidelberg