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November 1959

Spinal Cord Convulsions

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City
Department of Pharmacology, University of Utah College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Neurol. 1959;1(5):485-490. doi:10.1001/archneur.1959.03840050019003

The motor manifestations of maximal seizures have similar patterns in man and most laboratory animals.1 Since the motor pattern itself, apart from electrical correlates of convulsive activity, provides diagnostic guides in clinical epilepsy, as well as useful end-points in research on convulsive disorders, elucidation of the neural determinants of the convulsion pattern is of basic significance. Studies on the determinants of the motor pattern have largely centered around stimulation of specific supraspinal areas and correlation of electrical activity of the brain with motor behavior. The reflex mechanisms of the spinal cord have received little attention, and the majority of investigations have, by implication, assigned a passive role to the cord. The importance of spinal reflexes in determining the seizure pattern was shown by recent experiments from this laboratory,2 in which it was demonstrated that the maximal seizure pattern is profoundly modified by dorsal-root section. The results of these

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