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LEON-SARMIENTO, Fidias E.; PABON PORRAS, María Angélica  and  GRANADILLO DELUQUE, Elías David. Neurofunctional evaluation of brain stem. II: Mandibular reflex. Iatreia [online]. 2011, vol.24, n.3, pp.299-307. ISSN 0121-0793.

The masseter or mandibular reflex has unique neural connections, different from those exhibited by other human monosynaptic reflexes; thus, it is useful to evaluate in an easy and efficient way the human brain stem. It is possible to elicit this reflex by using mechanical, electrical or magnetic stimulation. Several investigations have demonstrated the participation of brain stem interneurons in this human reflex, as well as its modulation by supraspinal structures, which are a fundamental part of its motor integration. This reflex is useful to evaluate the trigemino-trigeminal involvement in poly-neuropathies such as diabetes, neuromyeolopathies such as multiple sclerosis, and in patients with movement disorders, regardless of oromandibular dysfunction. Neurofunctional evaluation of this reflex may be useful to study the sensorimotor integration of the brain stem and the alterations due to abnormalities of the central or peripheral nervous system. Its proper interpretation may be the basis to apply different neuro-rehabilitation protocols thus improving the quality of life of individuals with involvement of these neural pathways.

Keywords : Brain stem; Demyelinating diseases; Reflex/physiological.

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