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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1999 Jul;41(7):456-64.

Cutaneomuscular reflex responses recorded from the lower limb in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

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Department of Physiology, University College of London, UK.


Cutaneomuscular reflex (CMR) responses were recorded from lower-limb and trunk muscles in 27 subjects with cerebral palsy (CP) (spastic, 21; athetoid, six) and in neurologically healthy (control) subjects, aged 3 to 15 years, while standing. In the 21 subjects with spastic CP, but not in the six subjects with athetoid CP, CMR responses were more widely distributed between ipsilateral lower-limb and trunk muscles compared with age-matched control children. CMR responses in older subjects with CP were similar to younger control subjects, lacking supraspinally mediated, long-latency components. Short-latency, spinally-mediated, excitatory CMR components were seen simultaneously in pairs of distal, antagonistic lower-limb muscles in half of the subjects with spastic CP, but in none of the control children. In subjects with spastic-type CP, the abnormal reflex responses indicate disordered spinal and supraspinal inputs to motor neurones, although there was no convincing correlation between these responses and the severity of spasticity.

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