Lab 9 - Descending Pathways to the Spinal Cord

Lesions of the Reticulospinal Pathways

Bilateral destruction of the reticulospinal pathways results in autonomic as well as skeletal motor disorders. If the damage is above the level of spinal cord segments C3-C4, death will follow because of destruction of reticular fibers to the motor cells giving rise to the fibers of the phrenic nerve which normally control respiration. If the lesion is lower and the patient survives, other autonomic signs, involving sweating and vasomotor responses, will appear.