• Open Access

Restoring Psychology's Role in Peptic Ulcer

Authors


Robert Murison, Department of Biological & Medical Psychology, Jonas Liesvei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway. Email: murison@psybp.uib.no

Abstract

This paper reviews the history of the transition from the belief that gastrointestinal ulcers are caused primarily by psychological factors to the current state of belief that they are caused primarily by infection and argues that neither is fully accurate. We argue that psychological factors play a significant role as predisposing to vulnerability, modulating of precipitation, and sustaining of gastric ulceration. We review data that challenge the assumption of a simple infectious disease model and adduce recent preclinical data that confirm the predisposing, modulatory, and sustaining roles for psychological factors. We note that others, too, are now challenging the adequacy of the contemporary simple bacterial infection model. We hope to replace the competition between psychology and medicine with cooperation in understanding and treating patients suffering gastric ulceration and ulcer.

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