Decerebrate Rigidity

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decerebrate rigidity

[dē′ser·ə‚brət ri′jid·əd·ē]
Exaggerated postural tone in the antigravity muscles due to release of vestibular nuclei from cerebral control.

Decerebrate Rigidity


a sharp increase in the tonus of extensor muscles and a relative relaxation of the flexor muscles, arising as a result of severing the brain stem—that is, decerebration. In decerebrate rigidity the reflexes that maintain body balance and the ability to move are lost; the trunk and all the animal’s extremities are extended and stretch spasmodically and the head is thrown back (so-called opisthotonos). The cause of decerebrate rigidity is the freeing of the tonic centers of the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord from the inhibitory control of the reticular formation of the medulla oblongata and the midbrain.

References in periodicals archive ?
Other features are meningism, extensor plantars, frontal release signs, abnormal posturing, facial nerve palsy and quadriparesis.
6%) of children, was abnormal posturing of trunk and limbs, associated with up-rolling of eyeballs, frothing at mouth, protrusion of tongue, teeth-grinding, biting, scratching and pinching of hair, clothes or other body parts (Table II).
Those with tonic muscle overactivity producing sustained abnormal posturing were found to be most at risk of adaptive shortening.

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