Spasticity pp 204-221 | Cite as

Development of an Animal Model for the Study of Spinal Spasticity

  • J. S. Taylor
  • C. J. VierckJr.
  • J. B. Munson


For over a decade the commonly adopted definition of human spasticity has been “a motor disorder characterized by a velocity dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes (muscle tone) with exaggerated tendon jerks” (Lance 1980). However, the manifestations of spasticity are heterogeneous, which complicates attempts to develop a test that encompasses all the clinical signs observed in human spinal cord injury (SCI; Wiesendanger 1985). To avoid this problem, Noth (1991) has suggested that the term spasticity be used “only when the typical increase in muscle tone is present.” Thus, progress in understanding human spasticity might arise from the study of “one typical subtype of ‘spasticity’“(Young 1980). Accordingly, we have operationally defined animal spinal spasticity as augmented muscle tone and stretch reflexes resulting from spinal injury (for a review on the mechanisms and quantitation of spastic hypertonia see Katz and Rymer 1989).


Spinal Lesion Noxious Stimulation Modify Ashworth Scale Human Spinal Cord Injury Spinal Spasticity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Taylor
    • 1
  • C. J. VierckJr.
    • 1
  • J. B. Munson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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