The soleus H reflex excitability cycle has been studied using, as conditioning stimulus, a mechanical tap, subthreshold for the tendon reflex, which was applied either on the Achilles tendon, the short biceps tendon, or the quadriceps tendon. In all cases there was an early facilitation followed by a longlasting inhibition of the test H reflex. The same results were obtained in patients with a complete spinal cord section. Wherever the site of the conditioning stimulation, these modifications disappeared after ischaemia of the leg. It is concluded that the effects observed are due to the activation by the tendon tap of the Ia nerve fibres from the soleus muscle, and that the longlasting inhibition is probably due to a transmitter depletion.
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