Chapter

Neural Control of Locomotion

Gerta Vrbová, Urszula Sławin´ska and Henryk Majczyn´ski

in Restorative Neurology of Spinal Cord Injury

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199746507
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918768 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746507.003.0004
Neural Control of Locomotion

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This chapter presents animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI) and discusses how an understanding of the mechanisms responsible for producing the locomotor pattern, rhythmic limb movements associated with locomotion, is useful for the development of interventions to repair the damaged spinal cord. It reviews the work performed in cat and rat models of SCI describing the contributions of supraspinal, spinal, and peripheral neural circuitry to the generation of spinal motor output, organized to perform functional standing and stepping movements. The review includes models of complete transaction, selective focal lesions, and generalized diffuse injury, and covers the effects of a wide array of ablative and pharmacological manipulations. Finally, the chapter considers what is known about the different neurotransmitter systems at work in the spinal neural circuitry and how they are impacted by SCI.

Keywords: animal models; spinal cord injury; locomotion; spinal neural circuitry; spinal motor output

Chapter.  13919 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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