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J Physiol. 2011 Dec 1;589(Pt 23):5603-12. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.215160. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

The primate reticulospinal tract, hand function and functional recovery.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience, Medical School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK. stuart.baker@ncl.ac.uk

Abstract

The primate reticulospinal tract is usually considered to control proximal and axial muscles, and to be involved mainly in gross movements such as locomotion, reaching and posture. This contrasts with the corticospinal tract, which is thought to be involved in fine control, particularly of independent finger movements. Recent data provide evidence that the reticulospinal tract can exert some influence over hand movements. Although clearly secondary to the corticospinal tract in healthy function, this could assume considerable importance after corticospinal lesion (such as following stroke), when reticulospinal systems could provide a substrate for some recovery of function. We need to understand more about the abilities of the reticular formation to process sensory input and guide motor output, so that rehabilitation strategies can be optimised to work with the innate capabilities of reticular motor control.

PMID:
21878519
PMCID:
PMC3249036
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2011.215160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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