Electromyographic responses to stretches of hand muscles (first dorsal interosseus) and leg muscles (triceps surae, tibialis anterior) were investigated in patients with cerebellar disorders of different locations. Stimuli consisted of short dorsiflexions of the index finger during background force and in tilting (toe up) of a movable platform on which the subject stood. The most important findings were increased long latency responses in upper and lower extremities. For hand muscles it was the late part of the long latency complex, which was increased. For leg muscles it was the long latency response in the anterior tibialis muscle, the antagonist of the stretched triceps surae. The medium latency response in the triceps surae was unaffected. Latencies of the early segmental reflexes and the long latency responses were normal except for cases with peripheral neuropathy (moderate increase in latency of all EMG responses) and diseases affecting both the peripheral nerves and the dorsal columns (for example Friedreich's ataxia). The latter leads to a pronounced delay of the short latency response and a massive delay of the long latency complex in the first dorsal interosseus and of the long latency response in the anterior tibialis muscle.
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