cogwheel rigidity

noun
cog·​wheel rigidity | \ ˈkäg-ˌ(h)wēl- How to pronounce cogwheel rigidity (audio) \

Medical Definition of cogwheel rigidity

: muscular rigidity in which passive movement of the limbs (as during a physical examination) elicits ratchet-like start-and stop movements through the range of motion of a joint (as of the elbow) and that occurs especially in individuals affected with Parkinson's disease The third major sign, rigidity (sometimes called "cogwheel" rigidity), is peculiar to Parkinson's disease. When a limb is bent, it seems to catch at regular points throughout its range of motion, much as a second hand jerks from interval to interval instead of smoothly traversing the face of a clock.— Harriet Washington, The Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1993

called also cogwheeling

Learn More about cogwheel rigidity

Cite this Entry

“Cogwheel rigidity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/cogwheel%20rigidity. Accessed 26 January 2020.

Comments on cogwheel rigidity

What made you want to look up cogwheel rigidity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!