Dissociated weakness of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles with lesions in the CNS

Neurology. 1988 May;38(5):796-7. doi: 10.1212/wnl.38.5.796.


We describe three patients with lesions in the CNS that produced dissociated weakness of trapezius (TM) and sternocleidomastoid muscles (SCM). One patient with a right cerebral hemisphere lesion had left TM weakness and right SCM weakness. A second, with a brainstem lesion, and a third, with a high cervical cord lesion, had TM weakness with preserved SCM strength. We discuss the findings according to the known neuroanatomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Brain Stem
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / physiopathology