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Pronunciation: su'pra-nu'kle-ar


  1. Above (cranial to) the level of the motor neurons of the spinal or cranial nerves; those pathways the suprasegmental nerve fibers follow to reach the motor cell bodies in the brainstem. As used in clinical neurology, supranuclear indicates disorders of movement caused by destruction or functional impairment of brain structures other than the motor neurons, such as the motor cortex, pyramidal tract, or striate body, supranuclear palsy, as distinguished from the nuclear (or flaccid, or “lower motor neuron”) paralysis that results from destruction or functional impairment of the motor neurons or their axons in a peripheral nerve.
  2. Region of the cytoplasm apical to the nucleus.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.