Diseases of Anterior Horn Cells

  • Michael Swash
  • Martin Schwartz


Diseases affecting anterior horn cells may present at any age from infancy to the senium. Those diseases beginning in infancy, childhood or adolescence are usually limited to the anterior horn cells, but in adults other parts of the motor system, i.e. the upper motor neuron may be involved. The latter are classified as motor neuron disease, a disorder which is very rare in childhood. Certain viruses, particularly poliomyelitis, show a predilection to infect anterior horn cells but other viruses, for example, Herpes zoster and Coxsackie virus, may also affect anterior horn cells. In most anterior horn cell disorders motor nuclei in the brainstem are also involved; the term spinal muscular atrophy does not, therefore, exclude bulbar involvement.


Motor Neuron Motor Unit Herpes Zoster Spinal Muscular Atrophy Motor Neuron Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Swash
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Schwartz
    • 3
  1. 1.The London Hospital, London E1 and St Mark’s HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.The London Hospital Medical CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Atkinson Morley’s Hospital (St Georges’s Hospital)LondonUK

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