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Enteric nervous system – a historical review and contemporary aspects

Pavel Pavlov


The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) was described over a century ago and has since sparked controversy in scientific circles and the periodical press. Over time, knowledge about the structure, functions, and clinical significance of the ENS has evolved. The present work traces historically the emergence of the idea of the ENS, the chronology of the discovery of its structural elements and their functions, with an emphasis on its clinical significance. While not exhaustive, the overview explores the concept of interaction among diverse ENS structures and their role in regulating motility, secretion, hemodynamics, fluid and electrolyte balance, and the integrated functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The paper also discusses some of the diseases associated with ENS dysfunction.


enteric nervous system, historical review, chronology, dysfunction

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