The audiospinal reaction in parkinsonian patients reflects functional changes in reticular nuclei

Ann Neurol. 1993 Jan;33(1):63-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.410330111.


Audiospinal facilitation using the soleus H-reflex as a test was compared in 16 control subjects and 23 parkinsonian patients. In the patients, facilitation was significantly reduced during the 75 to 150 msec after the conditioning stimulation. This reduction was seen bilaterally even in patients with a hemisyndrome. It was corrected by L-dopa but not by anticholinergic agents. Facilitation at the 75-msec delay showed an inverse linear correlation with the bradykinesia intensity (r = -0.7, p < 0.01). The results argue in favor of a reduced excitability of the nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis from which a reticulospinal tract emanates as effector of the audiospinal facilitation. This would represent another example of dysfunction of reticular nuclei in Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • H-Reflex
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reticular Formation / physiopathology*


  • Levodopa