Article open access publication

Impaired Ability to Suppress Excitability of Antagonist Motoneurons at Onset of Dorsiflexion in Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Neural Plasticity, Hindawi, ISSN 2090-5904

Volume 2018, 2018

DOI:10.1155/2018/1265143, Dimensions: pub.1107497916, PMC: PMC6198563, PMID: 30402086,



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  2. (2) Helene Elsass Center, Charlottenlund, Denmark.






We recently showed that impaired gait function in adults with cerebral palsy (CP) is associated with reduced rate of force development in ankle dorsiflexors. Here, we explore potential mechanisms. We investigated the suppression of antagonist excitability, calculated as the amount of soleus H-reflex depression at the onset of ankle dorsiflexion compared to rest, in 24 adults with CP (34.3 years, range 18-57; GMFCS 1.95, range 1-3) and 15 healthy, age-matched controls. Furthermore, the central common drive to dorsiflexor motoneurons during a static contraction in the two groups was examined by coherence analyses. The H-reflex was significantly reduced by 37% at the onset of dorsiflexion compared to rest in healthy adults (P < 0.001) but unchanged in adults with CP (P = 0.91). Also, the adults with CP had significantly less coherence. These findings suggest that the ability to suppress antagonist motoneuronal excitability at movement onset is impaired and that the central common drive during static contractions is reduced in adults with CP.


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