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Systems of Therapy in Cerebral Palsy

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(3):281. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100080165027.
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Tersely written and competently presented, Systems of Therapy in Cerebral Palsy fills a need of physicians who see children with neuromuscular diseases and who are often perplexed or intimidated by physical therapists. Dr. Gillette organizes her book into two portions: the first is a summary of basic neurologic mechanisms related to motions in cerebral palsy; upon these innate neurophysiological processes systems of therapy are clarified and their application outlined.

Dr. Gillette simplifies the components of motion to mechanisms of stimulus, synergy, tone, orientation, and strength. Stimulation, the origin of any movement, is the excitation which arises from a muscle or from the environment. Tone is that constant tension of the muscle reflexly regulated by labyrinthine, tonic neck, and righting reflexes and postural adjustment reactions. Synergies are combined movements of primitive flexion and extension patterns which are under no volutional control. Orientation is knowledge of body parts and relationship of


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