Neurobiological basis of human locomotion

Neurobiological basis of human locomotion

~ Hultborn Institute of Neurophysiology, Blegdamsvej3 C DK-2200 CopenhagenN, Denmark. 310 ......... one complaint: why did they not also...

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Hultborn

Institute of Neurophysiology, Blegdamsvej3 C DK-2200 CopenhagenN, Denmark.

310

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one complaint: why did they not also summarize the organization of the central pattern generator edited by M. Shimamura, 5. Grillner for swimming in this organism? and V. R. Edgerton, Japan Scientific The cortical control of skilled Societies Press, 1991. ~I0 000 locomotion is well summarized by (xv + 447 pages) ISBN 4 7622 Trevor Drew, who has included 4646 8 many original data and illusThis book is based on a sym- trations in his account. Proprioposium with the same title that spinal connections between foretook place at the Tokyo Metro- limb and hindlimb segments are politan Institute for Neuro- certainly important for limb cosciences in November 1989. The ordination during locomotion, but majority of leading scientists in a longer loop - involving the the field have contributed to its spinobulbospinal reflexes - i s also 43 chapters, as have many less likely to be of great importance. familiar Japanese participants Muneo Shimamura et al. sumwho are introduced to the readers marize their work on this system by way of their often quite inter- over the past 25 years in two esting contributions. chapters, the first of which The study of locomotion has focuses on bulbospinal control of expanded enormously during the the forelimb segments in relation past decades and a significant to locomotion. level of understanding concerning The spinal network underlying this subject has certainly been locomotion is the topic of three reached. During this period sev- chapters. Sten Grillner et al. eral books were published that summarize their excellent work in summarized the knowledge at the lamprey, Takashi Yamaguchi distime. The present book empha- cusses recent (mainly unpubsizes locomotion in various mam- lished) findings on cervical intermalian species, but not particu- neurones during fictive forelimb larly in humans - as the title locomotion in the cat, and Norio wrongly suggests. The topics Kudo et al. describe the ontogeny discussed range from brain-stem of spinal locomotion studied in control of locomotion and the vitro in a very promising emorganization of the spinal pattern bryonic and neonatal rat prepgenerator, to human locomotion aration. and the restorative neurology of A section on the physiology pathological gait. and pathophysiology of human The organization of brain-stem locomotion starts with a chapter centers in relation to locomotion by Hans Forssberg et al. on the is covered in chapters by Larry phylogenetic and ontogenetic asJordan, Shigemi Mori et al., pects of this subject. This is folGordon Mogenson, Edgar GarciaRill and Robert D. Skinner, and Masao Udo et al. The chapters by Neurobiology of the NMDA Jordan and Mori et al. contain Receptor: From Chemistry much new, as yet unpublished, to the Clinic material and excellent illustrations in addition to good reviews of edited by Alan P. Kozikowski, VCH, 1991. £39.00/DM106.00 (xfi + 253 previous work. pages) ISBN 0 89573 769 8 Cerebellar control of locomotion (in cats) is well summar- N-methyl-o-aspartate (NMDA) is ized by Grigori Orlovsky, but the a selective agonist at one type of material has been more exten- receptor for glutamate, the major sively reviewed several times excitatory neurotransmitter in the before. Although somewhat aside central nervous system. The special from the main theme of the book, importance of the NMDA receptor the comparative study by Yuri lies in the fact that when it is Arshavsky, Grigori Orlovsky and activated by glutamate it allows Yuri Panchin on the 'vestibular' calcium ions to enter the neurone control of posture and rhythmic and trigger a number of important movements in the White Sea biological processes, such as those mollusc Clione limacina is very involved in modifying neuronal interesting reading. I have just connections during growth, pro-

Neurobiological Basisof Human Locomotion

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lowed by 14 chapters that are mainly devoted to pathophysiological aspects of human locomotion - especially cerebellar ataxia, Parkinson's disease, acute and tardive dystonia, and cerebral palsy. Although several of these chapters certainly present interesting material, this section is the most incoherent part of the book. The book ends with several chapters on the Iocomotory capability of adult animals with chronic spinal injury. Yoshifusa Shimizu and Akira Naito describe rather recent work on spinal dogs, and Reggie Edgerton et al. give an extensive review of their results of long-lasting training of the spinal cord to generate stepping patterns. Although I have not mentioned the contents of all the chapters, the selection I have commented on certainly reflects the major areas of the book. To summarize, several chapters include wellillustrated and well-presented original material, together with excellent summaries of previous work; others only review old work (perhaps duplicating previous reviews); and, finally, some chapters fall definitely outside the main objective. This, overall, seems to be representative of publications emerging from meetings like this one. However, on balance, the editors of this book have been quite successful. It is certainly a volume that should be accessible to each laboratory in which locomotion is studied. ducing changes in synaptic transmission, and inducing neurotoxicity. There are two other types of ionotropic glutamate receptor, defined as AMPA or kainate receptors according to their specific agonists, which can permit the entry of sodium ions into the neurone. There is also a metabotropic glutamate receptor, which triggers the release of a second messenger from the membrane to stimulate an increase in the intracellular calcium ion concentration. Anyone who is interested in the important topics in this book, but who is not already familiar with the pharmacology and physiology of the glutamate receptors, might TINS, Vol. 15, No. 8, 1992