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Neurological Disorders

How prevalent is feeding intolerance in patients with neurological disorders?

It is common for children with developmental delays to be dependent upon enteral nutrition. Various feeding challenges are often encountered in clinical practice, including vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea and reflux 1-4, and the inability for a patient to reach nutritionally adequate feeding volumes. The presence of gastrointestinal dysmotility, vomiting and gastro-oesophageal reflux is well documented in children with neurological disorders 2,3.

In adults, enteral tube feeding intolerance is estimated to affect between 33-38% of hospitalised patients 5, 6 and may have implications for clinical outcome 5, 6and quality of life. However, there is comparably little data pertaining to feeding intolerance specifically in adults with neurological disorders.

A retrospective audit of patients with long-term neurological disorders however showed that 28% of adult patients (17/60) with neurological disorders had documented evidence of intolerance to enteral feeding, which was not attributable to infection or other diagnoses. 7

We provide educational tools to support healthcare professionals who manage patients' with neurological disorders. Find a range of educational support tools for your CPD portfolio


Educational Videos

View our suite of educational videos focusing on neurological disorders and enteral nutrition.

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Nutrition Support in Focus: Neurological Disorders

Register to receive a copy of our new resource, written by dietitians for dietitians.

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Paediatric Case Studies & Clinical Summaries

View our range of paediatric enteral nutrition case studies, written by healthcare professionals.

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Paediatric ELearning Modules

Interactive e-learning CPD modules;
- Introduction to cerebral palsy
- Feeding children with Neurodisability

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Neurology & the Gut: Study day resources

View all the session videos along with reading a comprehensive review of the day.

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Adult Case Studies & Clinical Summaries

View our range of adult enteral nutrition case studies, written by healthcare professionals.

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View our range of resources to support you with the practice of alternative measurements (anthropometry).

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CPD Reflection Tool

Download your CPD personal reflection form to be utilised post your educational session.

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  1. Del Guidice ED, Staiano A, Capano G, et al. Gastrointestinal manifestations in children with cerebral palsy. Brain Dev. 1999;21:307-311.
  2. Sullivan, P.B., Lambert, B., Rose, M., Ford-Adams, M., Johnson, A., and Griffiths, P. (2000) Prevalence and severity of feeding and nutritional problems in children with neurological impairment: Oxford Feeding Study. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 42(10), 674–680.
  3. Quitadamo, P., Thapar, N., Staiano, A., and Borrelli, O. (2016). Gastrointestinal and nutritional problems in neurologically impaired children. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 20(6), 810-815.
  4. Minor G, Ochoa JB, Storm H, Periman S. (2016). Formula Switch Leads to Enteral Feeding Tolerance Improvements in Children With Developmental Delays. Global Paediatric Health. 3, 1-6.
  5. Wang, K., McIlroy, K., Plank, L.D., Petrov, M.S., and Windsor, J. (2016). Prevalence, Outcomes, and Management of Enteral Tube Feeding Intolerance: A Retrospective Cohort Study in a Tertiary Center. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. [Epub ahead of print]. Available: [Accessed 29th January 2017].
  6. Reintam Blaser, A., Starkopf, J., Kirsimagi, U., and Deane, A.M. (2014). Definition, prevalence, and outcome of feeding intolerance in intensive care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 58, 914-922
  7. Parry, S. How prevalent are gastrointestinal problems in the long-term feeding of patients with a neurological condition? Poster MON-P098. Presented at: ESPEN Congress 2016.