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Neural control of the gastrointestinal tract: Implications for Parkinson disease



Disorders of swallowing and gastrointestinal motility are prominent nonmotor manifestations of Parkinson disease (PD). Motility of the gut is controlled both by extrinsic inputs from the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and paravertebral sympathetic ganglia and by local reflexes mediated by intrinsic neurons of the enteric nervous system (ENS). Both the ENS and the DMV are affected by Lewy body pathology at early stages of PD. This early involvement provides insights into the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal dysmotility in this disorder and may constitute an important step in the etiopathogenesis of Lewy body disease. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society.

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