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Michael Swash

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date: 09 May 2021

Diseases of muscle have become better understood by careful clinical observations, resulting in a clinically useful classification of the different groups of disorders e.g. inherited muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, limb-girdle and metabolic myopathies, and myotonic disorders. A number of scientific approaches have determined the directions taken by this evolving classification. Understanding of the anatomy of the motor unit’s distribution in muscle transformed muscle pathology and muscle electrophysiology, and key to these pathological advances was the use of the histochemical technique for identifying myofibrillar ATPase in muscle fibres. This allowed studies of the distribution of fibre types in muscle in many different disorders. The inflammatory muscle diseases have been better understood since recent advances in immunology have characterized the underlying processes. The limb-girdle and childhood myopathies have proven to be heterogeneous, with many different, apparently causative, underlying genetic mutations.

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