The UCLA Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) in Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health aims to characterize sex related differences in brain gut microbiome interactions which will provide novel insight into the pathophysiology of chronic visceral pain and irritable bowel syndrom (IBS), in order to develop more cost effective therapies for female and male patients

Emeran Mayer, MD, PhD
SCOR Director
Lin Chang, MD
SCOR Co-Director

The Center has been funded by an NIH P50 grant from the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) for the past 13 years.

There is a close synergistic interaction between the UCLA SCOR (focusing on IBS) and the MAPP Research Network (focusing on chronic urological pain conditions). The UCLA SCOR is the only interdisciplinary and translational research and clinical program focused on a better understanding and better treatment of some of the most common persistent pain disorders in the country.

To advance the science, practice and teaching of brain visceral interactions, focusing on women’s health and sex-related differences through interdisciplinary translational approaches, with the ultimate goal of improving the treatment of patients with functional visceral pain disorders.

Chronic Visceral Pain
Chronic visceral pain disorders affecting the gastrointestinal and urogenital tract are common, disproportionally affect women, have a considerable effect on health related quality of life and result in excessive health care utilization. The most common of these disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a stress sensitive brain gut disorder which affects around 10% of the population world wide. Urological chronic pain syndromes (including painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis (PBS/IC) and chronic prostatitis) affect about 3.4-11.5% of the population. The UCLA Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) in Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health aims to develop novel insight into the pathophysiology of these common disorders, in particular into sex related differences in underlying mechanisms, in order to develop more cost effective therapies.

Sex-related Differences in Chronic Pain
Even though the majority of chronic pain conditions are more common in women, preclinical research has focused primarily on animal models in males, and human brain imaging studies have often ignored sex related differences in brain function and structure in chronic pain subjects.

Interactions with Other UCLA Programs
CNS Functional GI Disorders Program, CNS Brain Gut Microbiome Program, CNS Pain Research Program and CNS Mind Body Research Program

Disease Areas
Irritable Bowel Syndrome; Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis

Key investigators
Yvette Taché, Muriel Larauche, Harry Pothoulakis, Sylvie Bradesi, Daniel Holschneider, Jennifer Labus, Kirsten Tillisch, Iordanis Karagiannidis