05-04-2002, 11:23 AM
• Sudo K, Matsuyama T, Goto Y, Matsumoto A and Tashiro K (2002). Elbow flexion response as another primitive reflex. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 56 (2): 131-7. Summary: In daily clinical practice we noticed that patients with intellectual impairment spontaneously flex the elbow within a few seconds of the forearm being manipulated during routine examination of spasticity of the muscles in the upper extremities. We termed this phenomenon elbow flexion response (EFR), and prospectively studied it in 229 patients who underwent in-hospital rehabilitation following brain damage. Evaluation of each patient included EFR, patient profile, ability to communicate, scores on three parameters from various intelligence tests, scores on seven parameters testing primitive reflexes, and scores on three parameters describing personality. We investigated for relationships among these parameters. Consequently, although EFR rarely have a statistical association with the varied profiles of patients, patients with bilateral lesion or bilateral paresis demonstrated significantly more marked EFR than those with unilateral lesion or unilateral paresis. Patients with involvement of the frontal lobe showed significantly more marked EFR than those without damage in this area. Elbow flexion responses occurred significantly more frequently in relation with lower scores on intelligence and occurred with significantly higher frequency in conjunction with the more marked appearance of conventional primitive reflexes. Therefore, we conclude that EFR have a strong association with intelligence and with the existence of frontal lobe lesion, and their mode of clinical presentation parallels that of primitive reflexes particularly that of the grasp reflex. We propose that EFR could be referred as a variation of the grasp reflex occurring in the more proximal or axial part of the body. Department of Neurology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan. email@example.com.