PMID: 108083Jan 1, 1978

Muscular dystrophy contrasted with denervation: different mechanisms underlying spontaneous fibrillations

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. Supplement
J E Desmedt


The data reviewed in this paper indicate that spontaneous fibrillations do not involve a cholinergic mechanism since non-depolarizing anticholinesterase drugs such as Mestinon fail to increase spontaneous fibrillations in denervated muscle. Fibrillation potentials are related to the changes in electrical properties of the membrane of denervated muscle fibres which lead to the appearance of spontaneous subthreshold depolarizations, sometimes triggering a propagated potential. Fibrillations seem to appear in cycles and this may depend on the depression of spontaneous depolarization by muscle activity itself. Fibrillations are also an important feature of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and polymyositis, but they have not been found in Landouzy-Dejerine muscular dystrophy. These "myopathic" fibrillations probably arise from subthreshold depolarizations in the membrane of muscle fibre segments which have been functionally or anatomically isolated from the end-plate by a pathological lesion (Fig. 4). Experimental demonstration of spontaneous fibrillations in baboon biceps muscles after extrajunctional myotomies indicates that such an isolated muscle fibre segment can indeed develop and sustain spontaneous fibrillation activities. Studie...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Acetylcholine Sulfate (1: 1)
Plasma Membrane
Surface Electromyography
Resting Potentials
Motor Endplate
Motor Neurons
Muscle Denervation Procedure

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