Dictionary > Decerebrate rigidity

Decerebrate rigidity

Definition
noun
An involuntary posturing whereby the arms are extended on the sides while the head is arched back, as exhibited by an individual with lesions or compression in the midbrain
Supplement
Abnormal posturing associated with severe brain injury are of three types: (1) decorticate posturing, (2) decerabrate posturing, and (3) opisthotonus (where the head and the back are arched backward).
In decerebrate posturing (also called decerebrate response or rigidity), the abnormal posturing is characterized by the arms extending at the sides. It differs from the decorticate posturing wherein the arms are flexed over the chest. The decorticate posturing is an indication of a lesion or injury in the cortex. However, it can progress to decerebrate posturing, which means that the lesion progresses from the cortex to the brainstem. Further progression could lead to the final phase where the muscles lose rigidity and become flaccid, in which in this case the condition becomes an indication of fatality or death.
Decerebrate posturing is characterized by an involuntary extension of the upper extremities (arms) while the head is arched back. The legs are also extended. The arms may rotate internally. The body of the patient appears rigid and the teeth are clenched.
Decerebrate posturing indicates brain stem damage, particularly below the level of the red nucleus. It is manifested by people with midbrain lesions or compression.
Synonym(s):

  • decerebrate response
  • extensor posturing
  • decerebrate posturing


You will also like...

Growth and Plant Hormones
Growth and Plant Hormones

Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..

Geological Periods
Geological Periods

Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

..

sponge
Primitive Animals

Life, as we know it today, is presumed to have started in the sea and many of them were likely eukaryotic animal-like or..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

Human Nervous System
The Human Nervous System

The nervous system is essentially a biological information highway. This tutorial gives an overview of the nervous syste..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics