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Diseases of the Spinal Cord 

Diseases of the Spinal Cord
Chapter:
Diseases of the Spinal Cord
Author(s):

Jun Kimura

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199738687.003.0022
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date: 27 July 2021

This chapter discusses certain diseases of the anterior horn cells as they pertain to electromyography and nerve conduction studies. These include motoneuron disease,spinal muscular atrophy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, poliomyelitis and polio-like syndrome, syringomyelia, multiple sclerosis, and other myelopathies.Electrophysiologic studies help characterize these disease entities and localize the lesion site. Reduced recruitment suggests a loss of motoneurons during early stages. Fibrillation potentials appear a few weeks after the onset of illness. Large-amplitude, long-duration motor unit potentials develop later as the consequence of reinnervation. Reinnervation of denervated muscle fibers by sprouting tends to normalize the size of compoundmuscle action potentials after loss of motor axons. Despite a reduced amplitude of muscle potential and slowed motor conduction, sensory action potentials remain normal in the vast majority of these cases.

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