The enteric nervous system is an independent nervous system with a complexity comparable with the central nervous system. This complex system is integrated into several other complex systems, such as interstitial cells of Cajal networks and immune cells. The result of these interactions is effective coordination of motility, secretion, and blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract. Loss of subsets of enteric nerves, of interstitial cells of Cajal, malfunction of smooth muscle, and alteration in immune cells have been identified as the basis of many motility disorders. The initial factors triggering these changes and how to intervene to prevent, halt, and reverse them needs to be understood.
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