decerebrate rigiditymedical dictionary

<clinical sign>

<neurology> Spontaneous extension of elbows, wrists and legs which suggests damage to the diencephalon (midbrain).

Seen in cases of stroke and some cases of encephalitis. The decerebrate reflex is a clinical finding characterised by rigid contraction of the extensor and other muscles which maintain an animal in the standing position (antigravity muscles), may be seen in association with a severe stroke, intracranial haemorrhage, cerebral haemorrhage, cerebral toxin or transection of the brain below the level of the anterior corpora quadrigemina but above the vestibular nuclei, clinically may be preceded by decortication.

(27 Sep 1997)