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lar modules involved in the control of a single muscle. She then inactivated one of the modules by injecting a neurotoxin. The rat's ability to walk was scarcely altered but there was a strong decrease in its ability to respond quickly to obstacles in a reflexive manner. This revealed that specific modules of the cerebellum mainly regulate reflex functions during walking and match these to the situation.

Consequences for the elderly

Pijpers' research opens up new possibilities for further research into the role of the cerebellum in the control of movements. Results from follow-up studies could be important for research into how the elderly move. For example, the increased risk of falls in the elderly is often associated with physical limitations. According to Pijpers this could also be a linked to cerebellar functioning, since certain parts of the cerebellum appear to decrease as we get older.
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Source:Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research


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