Physiology and Pharmacology of Spasticity

  • Robert R. Young
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Spasticity is a movement disorder characterized by positive symptoms of abnormally excessive motor unit activity (dystonia, inappropriate co-contraction of antagonistic muscle groups, and hyperactive stretch reflexes and cutaneous flexor reflexes including a Babinski sign). Spasticity must be differentiated from the negative symptoms, i.e., a lack of normal motor function, which always accompany it. The negative symptoms, which include weakness or paralysis, unusual fatiguability, and lack of dexterity, are referred to in this chapter as “paresis.” Together, these two major consequences of damage to the central nervous system (CNS) characterize a syndrome known as “spastic paresis” (1).


Negative Symptom Presynaptic Inhibition Reciprocal Inhibition Stretch Reflex Recurrent Inhibition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

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  • Robert R. Young

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