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Contribution of propriospinal neurons to recovery of hand dexterity after corticospinal tract lesions in monkeys

Research Article

Contribution of propriospinal neurons to recovery of hand dexterity after corticospinal tract lesions in monkeys

The direct cortico-motoneuronal connection is believed to be essential for the control of dexterous hand movements, such as precision grip in primates. It was reported, however, that even after lesion of the corticospinal tract (CST) at the C4–C5 segment,
precision grip largely recovered within 1–3 mo, suggesting that the recovery depends on transmission through intercalated neurons rostral to the lesion, such as the propriospinal neurons (PNs) in the midcervical segments. To obtain direct evidence for the contribution of PNs to recovery after CST lesion, we applied a pathway-selective and reversible blocking method using double viral vectors to the PNs in six monkeys after CST lesions at C4–C5. In four monkeys that showed nearly full or partial recovery, transient blockade of PN transmission after recovery caused partial impairment of precision grip. In the other two monkeys, CST lesions were made under continuous blockade of PN transmission that outlasted the entire period of postoperative observation (3–4.5 mo). In these monkeys, precision grip recovery was not
achieved. These results provide evidence for causal contribution of the PNs to recovery of hand dexterity after CST lesions; PN transmission is necessary for promoting the initial stage recovery; however, their contribution is only partial once the recovery
is achieved.

Notes

As a whole, the S&C and physical therapy worlds have started to put a lot of emphasis on the role the brain plays in movement. BUT, no one talks about how important the spinal cord is! This is the first paper, that has shown the importance of propriospinal neurons – neurons that have cell bodies and axons in the spinal cord NOT THE BRAIN – play a major role in governing fine motor control such as hand dexterity, at least as it relates to recovery from injury.

Respiratory action of the intercostal muscles

Research Article

Respiratory action of the intercostal muscles

The mechanical advantages of the external and internal intercostals depend partly on the orientation of the muscle but mostly on interspace number and the position of the muscle within each interspace. Thus the external intercostals in the dorsal portion of the rostral interspaces have a large inspiratory mechanical advantage, but this advantage decreases ventrally and caudally such that in the ventral portion of the caudal interspaces, it is reversed into an expiratory mechanical advantage. The internal interosseous intercostals in the caudal interspaces also have a large expiratory mechanical advantage, but this advantage decreases cranially and, for the upper interspaces, ventrally as well. The intercartilaginous portion of the internal intercostals (the so-called parasternal intercostals), therefore, has an inspiratory mechanical advantage, whereas the triangularis sterni has a large expiratory mechanical advantage. These rostrocaudal gradients result from the nonuniform coupling between rib displacement and lung expansion, and the dorsoventral gradients result from the three-dimensional configuration of the rib cage. Such topographic differences in mechanical advantage imply that the functions of the muscles during breathing are largely determined by the topographic distributions of neural drive. The distributions of inspiratory and expiratory activity among the muscles are strikingly similar to the distributions of inspiratory and expiratory mechanical advantages, respectively. As a result, the external intercostals and the parasternal intercostals have an inspiratory function during breathing, whereas the internal interosseous intercostals and the triangularis sterni have an expiratory function.

Notes

This article helps you understand respiratory mechanics.

Biomechanics of the cervical spine. I: Normal kinematics

Research Article

Biomechanics of the cervical spine. I: Normal kinematics

This review constitutes the first of four reviews that systematically address contemporary knowledge about the mechanical behavior of the cervical vertebrae and the soft-tissues of the cervical spine, under normal conditions and under conditions that result in minor or major injuries. This first review considers the normal kinematics of the cervical spine, which predicates the appreciation of the biomechanics of cervical spine injury. It summarizes the cardinal anatomical features of the cervical spine that determine how the cervical vertebrae and their joints behave. The results are collated of multiple studies that have measured the range of motion of individual joints of the cervical spine. However, modern studies are highlighted that reveal that, even under normal conditions, range of motion is not consistent either in time or according to the direction of motion. As well, detailed studies are summarized that reveal the order of movement of individual vertebrae as the cervical spine flexes or extends. The review concludes with an account of the location of instantaneous centres of rotation and their biological basis.

The facts and precepts covered in this review underlie many observations that are critical to comprehending how the cervical spine behaves under adverse conditions, and how it might be injured. Forthcoming reviews draw on this information to explain how injuries might occur in situations where hitherto it was believed that no injury was possible, or that no evidence of injury could be detected.

Notes

This is a good overview of cervical spine motion.

Anatomy and actions of the trapezius muscle

Research Article

Anatomy and actions of the trapezius muscle

Dissection studies revealed the fascicular anatomy of the trapezius. Its occipital and nuchal fibres passed downwards but mainly transversely to insert into the clavicle. Fibres from C7 and T1 passed transversely to reach the acromion and spine of the scapula. Its thoracic fibres converged to the deltoid tubercle of the scapula. Volumetric studies demonstrated that the fibres from C7, T1, and the lower half of ligamentum nuchae were the largest. The essentially transverse orientation of the upper and middle fibres of trapezius precludes any action as elevators of the scapula as commonly depicted. Rather the action of these fibres is to draw the scapula and clavicle backwards or to raise the scapula by rotating the clavicle about the sternoclavicular joint. By balancing moments the trapezius relieves the cervical spine of compression loads.