Author(s): Chong SK
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Abstract Gastrointestinal issues are a major chronic problem in 80 to 90\% of children with cerebral palsy and in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities who are at special risk of developing malnutrition because of uncoordinated swallowing, gastroesophageal reflux, and constipation. In addition to poor linear growth, there is a decrease in muscle strength and coordination, impaired cerebral function leading to decreased motivation and energy. Significant neurodevelopmental progress can be achieved with improved nutritional status. A multidisciplinary approach, with input from neurologists, gastroenterologists, nurses, occupational therapists, and dieticians, can make a major contribution to the medical wellbeing and quality of life of these children. Different neurological diseases ( eg, spinal dysraphism, syringomyelia, tethered cord syndromes) can give rise to gastrointestinal dysfunction and symptoms that may need different gastrointestinal or surgical management. The introduction of new drugs, including proton pump inhibitors and innovative endoscopic and surgical techniques in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease and constipation also may have an impact on the treatment of neurologically handicapped children in the future.
This article was published in Curr Opin Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Probiotics & Health