Gastrointestinal dysfunction in parkinson’s disease: A report of clinical experience at a single center
We describe our clinical experience in the evaluation of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. Dysphagia, heartburn, medication-related nausea, and constipation were the predominant symptoms. Although all of the patients localized their dysphagia to the oropharynx and although oropharyngeal dysfunction was common, evaluation revealed significant dysfunction in either the esophageal body or lower esophageal sphincter in many--gastroesophageal reflux-related disease being especially common. Studies of anorectal sphincter and pelvic floor function in those patients with constipation demonstrated a high incidence of abnormal external anal sphincter dysfunction. We conclude, first, that dysphagia in patients with Parkinson's disease should not be assumed to result solely from oropharyngeal dysfunction but deserves detailed evaluation and, second, that constipation in Parkinson's disease is commonly consequent on anorectal sphincter and pelvic floor dysfunction.