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Reactive control of precision grip does not depend on fast transcortical reflex pathways in X-linked Kallmann subjects.

Authors
  • Harrison, L M
  • Mayston, M J
  • Johansson, R S
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of physiology
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2000
Volume
527 Pt 3
Pages
641–652
Identifiers
PMID: 10990548
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

It has been shown that subjects maintain grasp stability by automatically regulating grip force in response to loads applied tangentially to a manipulandum held using a precision grip. Signals from cutaneous mechanoreceptors convey the information necessary for both the initiation and scaling of responses. The central neural pathways that support these grip reactions are unknown. However, the latency of the increase in force is similar to that of 'long-latency' transcortical reflexes recorded from muscles following muscle stretch or electrical stimulation of digital nerves. This study assessed the importance of fast transcortical pathways for reactive grip responses by examining these responses in subjects with X-linked Kallmann's syndrome (XKS). Subjects were selected whose corticospinal projection, as assessed by magnetic brain stimulation, is essentially ipsilateral, and in whom the long-latency reflex components following digital nerve stimulation are only found contralateral to the stimulated side. Despite this anomaly of the fast corticospinal pathway, these XKS subjects responded in the same way as control subjects; grip response latencies were similar and responses were appropriately scaled. However, the non-operating hand of these XKS subjects often mirrored the grip force changes of the operating hand. Reflex force mirroring was most marked during the first 50 ms and the force output was always less than 20 % of that of the operating hand. We conclude, firstly, that somatosensory driven precision grip responses that support grasp stability do not depend on fast conducting corticospinal pathways in these subjects and, secondly, that such responses do not use those 'long-latency' reflex pathways probed by cutaneomuscular reflexes elicited by electrical stimulation of digital nerves.

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