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  • Updated 10.11.2020
  • Released 09.25.2007
  • Expires For CME 10.11.2023

Bowel dysfunction in neurologic disorders

Introduction

Overview

Bowel dysfunction occurs in many nervous system diseases. It manifests primarily as constipation or fecal incontinence, with diarrhea being less common. This article will review the following:

• The neural control of colonic function and defecation

• Bowel dysfunction in selected neurologic diseases

• General considerations and management of constipation and fecal incontinence

Key points

• Bowel dysfunction in neurologic diseases results from disturbance in the complex neural control of colonic function and defecation.

• Bowel dysfunction is common in patients with neurologic diseases and may have considerable impact on quality of life.

• Bowel dysfunction should be recognized in the context of neurologic disease and can be managed with a number of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches.

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