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Effect of intrathecal baclofen on the monosynaptic reflex in humans: evidence for a postsynaptic action.
  1. P Azouvi,
  2. A Roby-Brami,
  3. A Biraben,
  4. J B Thiebaut,
  5. C Thurel,
  6. B Bussel
  1. Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, INSERM U215, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France.


    Intrathecal baclofen is a very powerful antispastic agent. Its mechanism of action on the monosynaptic H-reflex in spinal patients was investigated. It could inhibit rapidly and profoundly monosynaptic reflexes in lower limbs, but did not modify Ia vibratory inhibition of the soleus H-reflex. To assess more precisely its effect on Ia afferents, an experimental paradigm using Ia heteronymous facilitation of the soleus H-reflex was used. Intrathecal baclofen did not modify the amount of monosynaptic facilitation of the soleus H-reflex brought about by stimulation of the femoral nerve. This demonstrates that the main part of the inhibitory effect of baclofen on the H-reflex in spinal patients is not due to a presynaptic effect, suggesting a postsynaptic site of action.

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