Reticular formation and spinal cord injury.

National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Spinal Cord (Impact Factor: 1.9). 09/2008; 47(3):204-12. DOI: 10.1038/sc.2008.105
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Compact literature review to provide basic knowledge of the reticular formation (RF) for clinicians.
United Kingdom.
The anatomical findings were collected from very recently published and well-edited books on neuroscience instead of hundreds of articles that contain materials still requiring test of time and difficult for busy clinicians to digest. Other individual references on specific issues such as a micturition centre, source of sildenafil citrate and so on are added. Clinical considerations discuss commonly encountered problems of spinal cord injury service and science. Every clinical condition is discussed in conjunction with the anatomy and physiology of the RF.
This section involves anatomy. (1) The core RF is located in the brain stem. The RF proper is divided into three longitudinal zones: the lateral (sensory), the medial (motor) and the midline (all others) zone. The midline zone is essential for wakefulness and consciousness. (2) Other brain stem structures sharing functions of the RF proper: periaqueductal grey (PAG), red nuclei, inferior olivary nucleus and precerebellar nucleus. PAG is almost related to all functions of the central nervous system, whereas the others are more connected to cerebellar functions of movements. (3) Spinal cord RF is located in the intermediolateral zone. It sends ascending and receives descending signals to coordinate and modulate motor, sensory and other functions.
This section involves clinical consideration. Multisystem damage, muscle contraction, upper urinary tract, sexual behaviour, skin trophic, pain, sleep apnoea, cross-system damages, spinal cord repair and comprehensive management are discussed to enlighten the clinical importance of the RF.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite clinical importance of identifying exact anatomical location of neural tracts and nuclei in the brainstem, no neuroimaging studies have validated the detectability of these structures. The aim of this study was to assess the detectability of the structures using three-dimensional anisotropy contrast-periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction (3DAC-PROPELLER) imaging. Forty healthy volunteers (21 males, 19 females; 19-53 years, average 23.4 years) participated in this study. 3DAC-PROPELLER axial images were obtained with a 3T-MR system at four levels of the brainstem: the lower midbrain, upper and lower pons, and medulla oblongata. Three experts independently judged whether five tracts (corticospinal tract, medial lemniscus, medial longitudinal fasciculus, central tegmental and spinothalamic tracts) and 10 nuclei (oculomotor and trochlear nuclei, spinal trigeminal, abducens, facial, vestibular, hypoglossal, prepositus, and solitary nuclei, locus ceruleus, superior and inferior olives) on each side could be identified. In total, 240 assessments were made. The five tracts and eight nuclei were identified in all the corresponding assessments, whereas the locus ceruleus and superior olive could not be identified in 3 (1.3%) and 16 (6.7%) assessments, respectively. 3DAC-PROPELLER seems extremely valuable imaging method for mapping out surgical strategies for brainstem lesions.
    Journal of neuroimaging: official journal of the American Society of Neuroimaging 04/2013; · 3.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to observe the functional changes after fetal olfactory ensheathing glia transplantation (OEGT) into the spinal cord of patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). Patients whose recovery had plateaued for longer than 6 months were enrolled. Six thoracic patients were tested for safety and five cervical patients for efficacy. OEGT was performed according to the method developed by Huang. Average follow-up was 14 months (range 1.0-1.5 years). Sensation improved moderately (light touch 14.2, pin prick 13.6); as did spasticity (1-2 modified Ashworth scale down). Locomotion recovery was minimal (1.6). Useful reticular formation functions were observed, but due to a lack of appropriate outcome measure, they were not recorded and reported.
    Cell Transplantation 01/2012; 21 Suppl 1:S33-7. · 4.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sleep disturbances are globally more frequent in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) than in the able-bodied population, and could contribute to dysfunction and poor quality of life in these patients. Specific sleep disorders may also contribute to negative health outcomes enhancing cardiovascular risk in a condition that per se increases heart disease related mortality. This review focuses on prevalence, features and treatment of sleep disorders in SCI. Although data on these subjects have been produced, reports on pathophysiology, consequences and treatment of sleep disorders are scarce or contradictory and more studies are required.
    Sleep Medicine Reviews 04/2013; · 8.68 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from