Paresis - Definition

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Paresis constitutes the partial loss of motor ability of one or more muscles in the body, which can be temporary or permanent. As opposed to paralysis, which is the total loss of motor ability, paresis only results in limited motor ability, with affected individuals no longer being able to correctly complete certain movements, for example. A simple loss in muscular strength is often observed. Paresis can be the result of damaged motorneurons, neurons produced in the spinal cord which serve as transmitters of motor control commands. The damage can also be located in the central nervous system, either by direct damage to a part of the brain, or to the spinal cord. Paresis can involve one muscle alone, several muscles, one side of the heart in which case it is called hemiparesis (common occurrence with strokes), or solely the lower limbs, in which case it is called paraparesis (observed in multiple sclerosis or spinal cord damage).