The Importance of Enteral Nutrition
Many neurological diseases are followed by a disturbance of nutritional intake to some extent and thus constitute the most common indication for nutritional support and enteral access. Several studies have shown that malnutrition is a common condition, with as many as 40% of admitted patients being identified as undernourished and 78% of these further found to be deteriorated in their nutritional status during hospital stay (McWirtrer and Pennington in BMJ 308:945–948, 1994). Malnutrition being a preventable disorder, it is thus of great importance to identify patients at risk of malnutrition and prevent impairment of nutritional status (Johansen et al. in Clin Nutr 23:539–550, 2004). With adequate nutritional care, improved healing is augmented, resulting in better care and quality of life, lowered costs due to reduced length of hospital stay, fewer complications, and decreased mortality. Gut starvation hampers the immunological response. Even small amounts of enteral nutrition maintain gastrointestinal mucosal integrity and improve barrier function, thus minimizing immunological complications and enhancing clinical recovery.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Enteral Nutrition Nutritional Support Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Enteral Feeding
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