Aberrant reinnervation of facial musculature in a subhuman primate: A correlative analysis of eyelid kinematics, muscle synkinesis, and motoneuron localization

Robert S. Baker, M. W. Stava, K. R. Nelson, P. J. May, M. D. Huffman, J. D. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Macaque monkey with a preexisting facial nerve injury showed a synkinesis of perioral muscleswith blinking and thus provided a serendipitous model for a multiphasic analysis of this common neurologic syndrome.The amplitude of the paretic eyelid in spontaneous and air-puff-induced blinks was about one-third that of the normaleyelid. Despite the blink hypometria, induced blink durations remained matched for the two lids. EMG confirmed cocontraction of the zygomaticus and orbicularis oculi muscles on the affected side during blinking, with silence of the zygomaticus on the normal side. Neuroanatomic investigation showed that, on the affected side, some zygomaticus motoneurons were in the somatotopically correct nuclear subdivisions but that the majority were in the dorsal subdivision, which normaly innervates the orbicularis oculi. This study supports the contention that some orbicularis oculi motoneurons are incorrectly rerouted to supply the perioral musculature following recovery from a peripheral seventhnerve injury. This same pattern of relative weakness in eyelid muscles and the stereotyped co-contraction of lid and perioral muscles with blinking occurs in humans, suggesting that aberrant reinnervation may be the mechanism for this clinical phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2173
Number of pages9
JournalNeurology
Volume44
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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