Reflex activities dependent on segments of the spinal cord below a transection have long been known and discussed in the physiologic laboratory, but recognition of similar phenomena in human beings was largely the result of the careful observations by Head and Riddoch1 of a group of wounded men. These authors showed that if a sufficiently large segment of human spinal cord is isolated by a sharp transverse lesion it may, after a period of so-called spinal shock, become the seat of extensive reflex activity. Severe infection in the body, especially of the bladder or in bed sores, appeared to prevent or diminish such reflex activity. The reflexes were characterized by their tendency to spread over many segments of the cord, producing reactions in skeletal muscles, sweat glands and hollow viscera, such as the bladder and rectum. In all instances of transection proved to be anatomically complete, the movements produced
BYERS RK. TRANSECTION OF THE SPINAL CORD IN THE NEW-BORN: A CASE WITH AUTOPSY AND COMPARISON WITH A NORMAL CORD AT THE SAME AGE. Arch NeurPsych. 1932;27(3):585–592. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02230150101005
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