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Glasgow Coma Scale

Michalchik michalcm at physlog-po.physlog.uiowa.edu
Thu Jul 6 18:30:12 EST 1995

Exagerated standing and other abnormal posturing is a phenomena 
analogous to the heightened muscle tone and hyper-reflexia seen in upper 
motor neuron lesions. Descending motor pathways from the cortex are 
primarily inhibatory. In a healthy nervous system descending cortical 
motor systems continuosly inhibit hyperactive lower motor reflexes. It 
is like keeping your car from moving by applying the brakes despite the 
fact that the engine is running and the transmission is engaged. Many 
fairly complex behaviors including posture are handled by subcortical 
regions of the nervous system. The primary role of the cortex in these 
reflexes is to shut them down when they interefere with directed motor 
activity or are in some other way inappropriate. When the cortex is 
removed exagerated and uncoordinated reflex programs emerge.

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