GI motility disorders: diagnostic workup and use of prokinetic therapy

Geriatrics. 1993 Nov;48(11):57-60, 65-6.


GI motility changes little--if at all--with age in healthy patients. However, a variety of diseases, including diabetes and Parkinson's disease, may cause autonomic neuropathy that is manifest as a motility disorder in the GI tract. Autonomic neuropathy can cause dysmotility in the esophagus, stomach, and gut. Symptoms are often nonspecific, including difficulty in swallowing, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation. Nonpharmacologic treatment includes management of underlying diseases, avoidance of anticholinergic medications, and dietary changes. Agents with prokinetic action are the therapy of choice when drug treatment is indicated.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cisapride
  • Diet
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Piperidines
  • Cisapride