Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Electronic Muscle Stimulators

 Electronic Muscle Stimulators

Muscle stimulation (motor neuron) disorders are characterized by progressive deterioration of the nerves and other structures involved in muscle movement. These disorders develop when motor nerves do not stimulate muscles normally.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most common of these disorders.
  • Typically, muscles are weak and waste away, and movements become stiff, clumsy, and awkward.
  • Doctors base the diagnosis on results of electromyography, magnetic resonance imaging, and blood tests.
  • There is no specific treatment or cure, but drugs can help lessen symptoms.

For normal muscle function, muscle tissue and nerve connections between the brain and muscle must be normal. In muscle stimulation disorders (motor neuron disorders), motor nerves do not stimulate muscles normally. As a result, muscles weaken, waste away (atrophy), and can become completely paralyzed even though the muscles themselves are not the cause of the problem.

Muscle stimulation disorders include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (the most common), primary lateral sclerosis, progressive pseudobulbar palsy, progressive muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar palsy, and postpolio syndrome. These disorders are more common among men and usually develop in people who are in their 50s. The cause is usually unknown. About 10% of people who have a muscle stimulation disorder have a hereditary type and thus have family members who also have the disorder.

In all of these disorders, the parts of the nervous system involved in muscle movement—including motor nerves in the spinal cord and in other parts of the body and parts of the brain—progressively deteriorate, causing muscle weakness that can progress to paralysis. However, in each disorder, a different part of the nervous system is affected. Consequently, each disorder has different effects. For example, some affect the mouth and throat first, and others affect a hand or foot first or most severely.

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