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This paper presents a neural network model of demyelination of the mouse motor pathways, coupled to a central pattern generation (CPG) model for quadruped walking. Demyelination is the degradation of the myelin layer covering the axons which can be caused by several neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. We use this model - to our knowledge first of its kind - to investigate the locomotion deficits that appear following demyelination of axons in the spinal cord. Our model meets several physiological and behavioral results and predicts that whereas locomotion can still occur at high percentages of demyelination damage, the distribution and location of the lesion are the most critical factors for the locomotor performance.

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Last update: 25/08/06