Plasticity of central motor pathways in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

, , , and . Neurology 41 (9): 1505--1510 (September 1991)


To obtain neurophysiologic evidence for a reorganization of central motor pathways in children who had suffered a cerebral lesion at birth, we performed cross-correlation analyses of multiunit EMG recordings obtained from children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and marked mirror movements. We found that the motoneuron pools of homologous left and right hand muscles received common synaptic input from abnormally branched presynaptic axons. The results of electromagnetic brain stimulation, cutaneomuscular, and tendon reflex testing suggested that these common inputs are provided by abnormally branched corticospinal tract fibers whose origin is the undamaged motor cortex.

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