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Mechanism of the hanger reflex. Comment on the article “Vestibulo-ocular reflex gain changes in the hanger reflex”

Published:September 12, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2022.120418
      The hanger reflex is an interesting phenomenon in which a wire hanger placed on the head induces head rotation. The authors focused on the relationship between the hanger reflex and the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and reported interesting findings showing that the gain of the VOR was altered in the video head impulse test in the lateral semicircular canal [
      • Takahashi K.
      • Johkura K.
      Vestibulo-ocular reflex gain changes in the hanger reflex.
      ]. A recent experimental study showed that the hanger reflex can be elicited even when pure skin shear deformation alone was applied [
      • Miyakami M.
      • Takahashi A.
      • Kajimoto H.
      Head rotation and illusory force sensation by lateral skin stretch on the face.
      ]. Studies have also shown that the hanger reflex can be elicited at sites other than the head [
      • Asahi T.
      • Nakamura T.
      • Sato M.
      • Kon Y.
      • Kajimoto H.
      • Sato S.
      The hanger reflex: an inexpensive and non-invasive therapeutic modality for dystonia and neurological disorders.
      ,
      • Nakamura T.
      • Nishimura N.
      • Sato M.
      • Kajimoto H.
      Application of hanger reflex to wrist and waist.
      ,
      • Sanada H.
      • Kobayashi M.
      • Kon Y.
      • Kajimoto H.
      Investigation of effective parts for rotation and translation of the legs using hanger reflex.
      ]. Since this non-head hanger reflex cannot be explained by the VOR, changes in the VOR—at least at sites other than the head—are not likely to be the primary cause. Regarding the head, we considered the possibility that the change in the VOR was caused by the hanger reflex. Devices inducing the hanger reflex have been used for the treatment of symptoms not only in cervical dystonia but also in areas other than the head, and their potential application in the treatment of neurological disorders is immeasurable [
      • Asahi T.
      • Nakamura T.
      • Sato M.
      • Kon Y.
      • Kajimoto H.
      • Sato S.
      The hanger reflex: an inexpensive and non-invasive therapeutic modality for dystonia and neurological disorders.
      ]. We sincerely hope the authors will continue their research.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      VOR (vestibulo-ocular reflex)
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      References

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        Vestibulo-ocular reflex gain changes in the hanger reflex.
        J. Neurol. Sci. 2022; 438120277https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2022.120277
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        Head rotation and illusory force sensation by lateral skin stretch on the face.
        Front. Virtual Real. 2022; 3https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2022.930848
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        The hanger reflex: an inexpensive and non-invasive therapeutic modality for dystonia and neurological disorders.
        Neurol. Med. Chir. (Tokyo). 2020; 60: 525-530https://doi.org/10.2176/nmc.ra.2020-0156
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        Application of hanger reflex to wrist and waist.
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        • Sanada H.
        • Kobayashi M.
        • Kon Y.
        • Kajimoto H.
        Investigation of effective parts for rotation and translation of the legs using hanger reflex.
        in: Proceedings of the Augmented Humans International Conference. 2020: 1-6https://doi.org/10.1145/3384657.3384786