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Can J Neurol Sci. 1993 May;20 Suppl 3:S93-104.

Preserved simple and impaired compound movement after infarction in the territory of the superior cerebellar artery.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Irene Walter Johnson Rehabilitation Research Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


A patient with an infarct in the distribution of the right superior cerebellar artery was studied with regard to his ability to make simple movements (visually triggered, self-terminated ballistic wrist movements), and compound movements (reaching to a visual target and precision pinch of a seen object). Movements on the right side of the body alone were affected. Control movements were made by the normal left upper extremity. Wrist movement on the right side was normal in reaction time, direction, peak velocity, and end-point position control as compared to the left. By contrast, both reaching and pinching movements on the right were impaired. Reaching movements showed marked decomposition of the compound elbow-shoulder movement into seriatim simple movements made alternately at elbow and shoulder. Pinching movements were not made, and instead winkling movements (a movement of index alone) were substituted. These results are compared to similar results of controlled inactivation of the cerebellar dentate nucleus in monkeys. We conclude that one function of the cerebellum may be to combine elements in the movement repertoires of downstream movement generators. When that ability is lost, a strategy may be voluntarily adopted of using the preserved simple movements in place of the impaired compound movements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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