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spastic paralysis,form of paralysis in which the part of the nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information. that controls coordinated movement of the voluntary muscles is disabled. In spastic paralysis the nerves controlling muscle movement are hyperirritable and do not function in a coordinated manner, so that impulses from them cause spasmodic muscle contraction. Extreme spastic paralysis occurs after various kinds of brain damage, e.g., strokestroke,
destruction of brain tissue as a result of intracerebral hemorrhage or infarction caused by thrombosis (clotting) or embolus (obstruction in a blood vessel caused by clotted blood or other foreign matter circulating in the bloodstream); formerly called apoplexy.
..... Click the link for more information. . Spinal cord injury, such as that produced by inflammatory diseases of nerve tissue, can injure motor neuron fibers in the spine and cause spastic paralysis. Congenital spastic paralysis, or cerebral palsycerebral palsy
, disability caused by brain damage before or during birth or in the first years, resulting in a loss of voluntary muscular control and coordination. Although the exact cause is unknown, apparent predisposing factors include disease (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. , is often a result of intrauterine disease or birth injury, or occasionally some inherited nervous system defect.
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spastic paralysis[′spas·tik pə′ral·ə·səs]
A condition in which a group of muscles manifest increased tone, exaggerated tendon reflexes, depressed or absent superficial reflexes, and sometimes clonus, due to an upper motor neuron lesion. Also known as spasticity.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.