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Neurophysiology of Neuromuscular Transmission and Its Disorders

  • James M. Gilchrist

Abstract

Despite several antibody tests being available for the assessment of disorders of neuromuscular transmission, electrophysiological testing of the neuromuscular junction remains a very important part of clinical practice. The neuromuscular junction is a complex structure and an understanding of its anatomy and physiology can assist in better understanding the value of electrodiagnostic testing. The most common disorders include myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, and botulism, and are usually readily identified using several electrophysiological techniques including slow (2-3 Hz) and fast (20- to 50-Hz stimulation). Single-fiber needle EMG remains an additional powerful and sensitive test for patients with disorders that are more mild, in whom repetitive stimulation testing is negative or indeterminate.

Key Words

Botulism Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome myasthenia gravis neuromuscular junction repetitive nerve stimulation 

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Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Gilchrist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Rhode Island HospitalBrown Medical SchoolProvidence

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