Extrapyramidal System

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extrapyramidal system

[¦ek·strə‚pir·ə′mid·əl ′sis·təm]
Descending tracts of nerve fibers arising in the cortex and subcortical motor areas of the brain.

Extrapyramidal System


a group of brain structures in the hemispheres and brainstem involved in the central control of movements without the participation of the corticospinal, or pyramidal, system.

From the standpoint of evolution the extrapyramidal system is the most ancient system of motor control. It consists of the basal ganglia, red and interstitial nuclei, tectum, substantia nigra, reticular formation of pons varolii and medulla oblongata, nuclei of the vestibular system, and cerebellum. Some structures of the extrapyramidal system do not proceed directly to the spinal motor centers. Others are connected by conducting pathways to the segmental levels of the spinal cord, where they serve as an essential switching station for impulses traveling from the brain to moto-neurons. The impulses that travel along the fibers of the extrapyramidal system can reach the motoneurons through direct mono-synaptic connections or by switching in the various interneurons of the spinal cord.

The extrapyramidal system plays an important role in the coordination of movements, locomotion, and maintenance of posture and muscle tone. It is closely associated with the control of truncal muscles and proximal portions of the limbs. It is also involved in emotional manifestations, for example, laughing and crying. Injury to the pyramidal system decreases muscle tone and impairs motor functions (causing, for example, hyperkinesia and parkinsonism).


Kostiuk, P. G. Struktura i funktsiia niskhodiashchikh sistem spinnogo mozga. Leningrad, 1973.
Shapovalov, A. I. Neirony i sinapsy supraspinal’nykh motornykh sistem. Leningrad, 1975.


References in periodicals archive ?
The attenuation of schedule-induced polydipsia by dopamine blockers is not an expression of extrapyramidal side effect liability.
In addition, akathisia often occurs concurrently with, and is masked by, akinesia, a common extrapyramidal side effect of many antipsychotics.
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In addition to the previously mentioned sedation and orthostasis, typical antipsychotics are much more likely to cause elevated prolactin levels and extrapyramidal side effects.
The authors further stressed that when prescribing antipsychotics, it is imperative to regularly monitor both their efficacy and tolerability in patients through body weight, fasting lipids and glucose, extrapyramidal side effects, sedation, and sexual/reproductive adverse effects, and to manage abnormalities appropriately.
His compliance with the treatment schedule was high, but there were extrapyramidal side effects with partial remission.
Ziprasidone###80-200###Sedation, autonomic side effects, extrapyramidal side effects

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