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Encyclopedia > Upper motor neurone lesion

An upper motor neurone lesion is a lesion of the neural pathway above the anterior horn cell or motor nuclei of the cranial nerves. This is in contrast to a lower motor neurone lesion, which affects nerve fibres travelling from the anterior horn of the spinal cord to the relevant muscle(s). Anterior horn can refer to different anatomical structures within the central nervous system: The anterior division of the lateral ventricle of the brain. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cranial nerve nucleus. ... The Spinal cord nested in the vertebral column. ...


  • "Spastic" increase in tone in the extensor muscles (lower limbs) or flexor muscles (upper limbs)
  • "Clasp-knife" response where initial resistance to movement is followed by relaxation
  • Weakness in the flexors (lower limbs) or extensors (upper limbs), but no muscle wasting
  • Brisk tendon jerk reflexes
  • Babinski sign positive, where the big toe is raised rather than curled downwards on stimulation of the sole of the foot

In medicine (neurology), the Babinski reflex or Babinski sign is a reflex that can identify disease of the spinal cord and brain. ...

Corticospinal/ Pyramidal tract

These are the neural tracts which descend in the spinal cord, in the lateral columns, carrying signals for voluntary movement of skeletal muscle. These nerve fibres usually originate in the cerebral cortex, then gather in the internal capsule before crossing over to the opposite side (decussation) in the medulla oblongata and proceeding down the spinal cord to meet lower motor neurones in the anterior horn. The corticospinal or pyramidal tract is a massive collection of axons that travel between the cerebral cortex of the brain, and the spinal cord. ... Location of the cerebral cortex Slice of the cerebral cortex, ca. ... The internal capsule is an area of white matter in the brain that separates the caudate nucleus and the thalamus from the lenticular nucleus. ... The medulla oblongata is the lower portion of the brainstem. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (181 words)
These neurons connect the brain to the appropriate level in the spinal cord, from which point nerve signals continue to the muscles by means of the lower motor neurons.
The neurotransmitter glutamate transmits the nerve impulses from upper to lower motor neurons where it is detected by glutamatergic receptors.
Upper motor neurone lesions are indicated by spasticity, exaggerated reflexes, loss of voluntary motor control and the Babinski sign.
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