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Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2016 Jan;9(1):98-112. doi: 10.1177/1756283X15618131.

Nausea: a review of pathophysiology and therapeutics.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Division of Gastroenterology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.
Massachusetts General Hospital - GI Unit, 55 Fruit Street, Blake 4, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The sensation of nausea is a common occurrence with diverse causes and a significant disease burden. Nausea is considered to function as a protective mechanism, warning the organism to avoid potential toxic ingestion. Less adaptive circumstances are also associated with nausea, including post-operative nausea, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and motion sickness. A common definition of nausea identifies the symptom as a precursor to the act of vomiting. The interaction, though present, does not appear to be a simple relationship. Nausea is unfortunately the 'neglected symptom', with current accepted therapy generally directed at improving gastrointestinal motility or acting to relieve emesis. Improved understanding of the pathophysiological basis of nausea has important implications for exploiting novel mechanisms or developing novel therapies for nausea relief.


autonomic nervous system; central nervous system; diagnostics; nausea; neuroendocrine; pathogenesis; therapeutics; vomiting

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