Dipartimento di Pediatria, Università Federico II, Napoli
Key words: Cerebral palsy, Muscular dystrophy, GI motor disorders
It is well known that gastrointestinal (GI) motor dysfunctions occur frequently in children with different degrees of brain damage, whereas only recently, several reports are outlining the association of GI disorders and congenital myopathies or generalized muscle disorders in paediatric age. Swallowing disorders occur in 40% of children with brain damage, recurrent vomiting in 10-15% of mentally retarded children. If fully investigated, up to 75% of these children have gastroesophageal reflux, 62% of mentally retarded children present chronic constipation. Differently from children with myopathy in whom GI involvement is often clinically silent, most children with brain damage present a variety of GI symptoms which often do not receive appropiate attention from paediatricians. Better understanding of the pathophysiology of GI motor disorders in these children may contribute to establish treatment strategies which prevent significant secondary causes of morbidity.
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