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There are a number of neurological diseases which have an effect on bowel function. This chapter provides an overview of gastrointestinal (GI) physiology, with reference to the hindgut and pelvic floor. It addresses the problems caused by common neurological diseases. The intra-abdominal GI tract is varied, and divided into the organs of stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Bowel dysfunction affects approximately 80% of those with spinal cord injury (SCI) and causes more of a problem than urinary and sexual dysfunction in a third of individuals with SCI. Neurological diseases such as SCI or MS frequently impair CNS control of the gut. The difference between the neural control systems for bowel and bladder is underlined by the differing effects of such diseases on the two systems. Supraconal SCI tends to cause difficulty with evacuation of feces in addition to fecal incontinence, but predominantly difficulty with urinary continence.
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