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The Peripheral Motor Neurons and Reflexes 

The Peripheral Motor Neurons and Reflexes
Chapter:
The Peripheral Motor Neurons and Reflexes
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0021
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date: 01 March 2021

Chapter 21 deals with the lower motor neurons (motoneurons) and reflex movements. There are two types of lower motor neurons-alpha (?) motoneurons innervating the extrafusal muscle fibers and gamma (?) motoneurons supplying the muscle spindles. The motoneurons are arranged in columns in the spinal cord. An ? motoneuron and all the muscle fibers it innervates is called a motor unit. Muscle fibers are classified according to ATPase activity into type 1 and type 2 fibers. A reflex is an involuntary response to a stimulus, which is mediated by the nervous system. The motoneurons are parts of reflex arcs. Stretch reflexes are of two main kinds: the monosynaptic and the polysynaptic, long-latency stretch reflex. The flexion reflex has a protective function. The resting tone of muscles and how it may vary in health and disease is also discussed, as well as the ability of peripheral nerves to regenerate after severance.

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