Institute of Neuroscience

Sub-cortical contributions to primate forelimb mov

Sub-cortical contributions to primate forelimb movement

Much previous work has focussed on the cortical control of movement, and its direct output via the corticospinal tract, usually assumed to be of primary importance for hand control.

Recent work, from our laboratory and others, has demonstrated that subcortical systems in the brainstem and spinal cord may also play a role in control of the upper limb and the hand. Whilst present in healthy animals, this assumes especial importance after recovery from lesion (e.g. after stroke), when we have shown that sub-cortical systems not only allow functional recovery, but also limit it. Our current work tries to understand the intrinsic circuits of the brainstem reticular formation and spinal cord, and to place these circuits in the context of adaptive motor behaviour.

We are actively involved in translating this new knowledge into improved therapy for patients, in collaboration with our colleagues at the Institute of Neuroscience, Kolkata, India.

Newcastle University staff and students linked to the project:

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