Author(s): Chung EA, Emmanuel AV
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Abstract The impact of spinal cord injury on an individual's gastrointestinal tract function is often poorly understood by the general public and also by those involved with persons with spinal cord injury. This chapter reviews the anatomy, physiology and function of the gastrointestinal tract, with particular emphasis on neurological control mechanisms. In turn, it relates the effect that spinal cord injury has on the neurological control of the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms that are encountered by patients in the acute phase following injury, and by individuals in the months/years after injury, with particular reference to the effect of altered autonomic nervous system control of the gastrointestinal tract, are discussed. Together with a following summary of current bowel management regimens and techniques, this chapter aims to provide an overall view of the effect that autonomic dysfunction due to spinal cord injury has on gastrointestinal function.
This article was published in Prog Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy