Reflexes

Why is it important to study reflexes? What clinical applications might these have? Describe a simple reflex arc.

A reflex is generally defined as a motor response to a sensory stimulus.Reflexes begin before we are born and help us to make our own way of responses out of mother’s body. It includes several examples of quick reflexes like

*when light shines in eyes, pupils immediately gets smaller and eyes gets closed.

*when a sudden, loud sound is heard sudenly, immedialtely we get startle.

Reflexes are very important and performs many actions to central nervous system.They help us to see, move body, protects us from danger, to sense the touch etc.

Reflex responses are sometimes called fight or flight responses depending on the situations. Reflexes are generally located in lower regions of brain, most in the medulla oblongata and pons. These are involuntary responses and instant.Responses happen automatically depending on reflexes and some refelxes have specofic tasks for a limited period of time.

Once the particular developmenf stage has passed the reflex should integrate and no longer appear.In reality, reflexes are present but its appropriatr function serves as foundation for future reflexes. Example of such type of reflux includes Babinski reflex which is present in feet of newborn.

Clinical applications of reflexes:

  • They are most important part of neurological examination and helps to determine the level of damage to central nervous system.
  • Reflexes in group can aid in evaluation of most of the segmemtal levels of the nervous system from cerebral hemisphere through the spinal cord.
  • All reflexes when reduced to their simplest level, are sensorimotor arcs.
  • Many reflexes have several neurons interposed.
  • Reflexes are generally graded in quantitative manner.

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