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Reflex memory theory of acquired involuntary motor and sensory disorders

  • Oyigeya, Matthias1
  • 1 Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria , Makurdi (Nigeria)
Published Article
The Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
May 17, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s41983-021-00307-2
Springer Nature


BackgroundExplicit and implicit memories are conserved but flexible biological tools that nature uses to regulate the daily behaviors of human beings. An aberrant form of the implicit memory is presumed to exist and may be contributory to the pathophysiology of disorders such as tardive syndromes, phantom phenomena, flashback, posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), and related disorders. These disorders have posed significant clinical problems for both patients and physicians for centuries. All extant pathophysiological theories of these disorders have failed to provide basis for effective treatment.ObjectiveThe objective of this article is to propose an alternative pathophysiological theory that will hopefully lead to new treatment approaches.MethodsThe author sourced over 60 journal articles that treated topics on memory, and involuntary motor and sensory disorders, from open access journals using Google Scholar, and reviewed them and this helped in the formulation of this theory.ResultsFrom the reviews, the author thinks physical or chemical insult to the nervous system can cause defective circuit remodeling, leading to generation of a variant of implicit (automatic) memory, herein called “reflex memory” and this is encoded interoceptively to contribute to these phenomena states.ConclusionAcquired involuntary motor and sensory disorders are caused by defective circuit remodeling involving multiple neural mechanisms. Dysregulation of excitatory neurotransmitters, calcium overload, homeostatic failure, and neurotoxicity are implicated in the process. Sustained effects of these defective mechanisms are encoded interoceptively as abnormal memory in the neurons and the conscious manifestations are these disorders. Extant theories failed to recognize this possibility.

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