Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) reintroduced The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act. This legislation would instruct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand and coordinate research and education efforts regarding Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders (FGIMD).

Rep. Sensenbrenner: “Many individuals living with functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders have few, if any, effective treatments available to them. By expanding our efforts and prioritizing FGIMD research, I’m confident that we can find meaningful ways to improve life for those living with these disorders. I’m pleased to collaborate on this bipartisan effort with Congresswoman Moore.  It is important that individuals affected by FGIMDs know that we are working hard on this important issue."

Rep. Moore: “Symptoms of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders affect one’s quality of life, causing impairment or even life threatening situations. Few effective therapies exist, which is why I am honored to join Congressman Sensenbrenner in reintroducing this bipartisan legislation to put America’s leadership in medical innovation and research toward helping the millions affected by FGIMDs. Boosting NIH research efforts to find treatments, and eventually cures, will help improve the quality and effectiveness of care for those affected by these disorders.”

Background:
Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are among the most common health disorders in the general population. These conditions can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. FGIMDs are typically classified by symptoms related to any combination of the following: motility disturbance, visceral hypersensitivity, altered mucosal and immune function, altered gut microbiota, and altered central nervous system (CNS) processing.

Symptoms of these disorders can be disabling and, in some instances, life-threatening, and few effective therapies exist. Treatment generally focuses on management of complex symptoms over a long term. Some examples of functional gastrointestinal disorders are: dyspepsia, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, bowel incontinence, and cyclic vomiting syndrome. Patients with FGIMDs can suffer for years before receiving a diagnosis and only have access to few effective treatments due to a lack of proper education for physicians.

Among its provisions, the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2019 encourages NIH: To implement the research recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases; support the establishment of 3 centers of excellence on FGIMD; educate health care providers and patients regarding treatment and care options; encourage collaboration between the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Office of Research on Women’s Health, the Office of Rare Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health; and direct the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to expand research efforts.

Read the full bill here.