spastic paralysis

spastic paralysis

spastic paralysis, form of paralysis in which the part of the nervous system 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., stroke. 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 palsy, is often a result of intrauterine disease or birth injury, or occasionally some inherited nervous system defect.
Flaccid paralysis is a clinical manifestation characterized by weakness or paralysis and reduced muscle tone without other obvious cause (e.g., trauma).



The term acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) is often used to describe a sudden onset, as might be found with polio.

AFP is the most common sign of acute polio, and used for surveillance during polio outbreaks. AFP is also associated with a number of other pathogenic agents including enteroviruses, echoviruses, and adenoviruses, among others.


The Clostridium botulinum bacteria are the cause of botulism. Vegetative cells of C. botulinum may be ingested. Introduction of the bacteria may also occur via endospores in a wound. When the bacteria is in vivo they induce flaccid paralysis. This happens because C. botulinum produces a toxin which blocks the release of acetylcholine. When this occurs, the muscles are unable to contract.


Flaccid paralysis can be associated with a lower motor neurone lesion. This is in contrast to a upper motor neurone lesion, which often presents with spastic paralysis. Included in AFP's list are Poliomyelitis, Transverse myelitis,Guillain-Barré syndrome, enteroviral encephalopathy , traumatic neuritis, Reye's syndrome etc. An AFP Surveillance programme is conducted to increase case yield of poliomyelitis. This includes collection of 2 stool samples within 14 days of onset of paralysis and identification of virus. and control of the outbreak and strengthening immunisation in that area.


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