The neural apparatus for executing movements is distributed throughout the brain. The primary motor cortex sends signals to the muscles via motor neurons telling them to contract.
If the strength of this signal reduces, the efficacy of contraction reduces.
But before this signal is sent to the muscles, a complex system of planning, feedback and modulation takes place in the brain.
The premotor areas plan sequences of movements and integrate movements with sensory information, the cerebellum calibrates the timing and precision of movements, the basal ganglia modulate and smooth movements.
Damage to any of these areas, or the connections between them will result in suboptimal movement.
Additionally, non-use of these areas and circuits, either through physical impairment or changes in lifestyle will weaken the connections and excitability between the involved brain regions (Facchini et al., 2002; Kaneko et al., 2003). Conversely, the motor system displays a high degree of plasticity and can be strengthened through motor training (Adkins et al., 2006; Boroojerdi et al., 2001).
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