Rodriquez, A ;Agre, J ;Harmon, R ;Franke, T ;Swiggum, E ;Curt, J  Archives Of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation 1995 Nov; 76(11):   989-93


ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Post-polio subjects experience functional deterioration many years after developing acute poliomyelitis and have been shown previously to have a deficit in strength recovery after isometric activity. This study characterized the size and stability of the motor units in a group of post-polio subjects with macro and single fiber electromyography (EMG) and correlated these variables with isometric strength, endurance, “work capacity,” and strength recovery after fatiguing isometric exercise.

DESIGN: A cohort of 12 post-polio subjects was tested for neuromuscular function. Electromyographic variables were determined on a separate day. SETTING: Volunteers were recruited from the community and tested in our neuromuscular research laboratory.

SUBJECTS: A volunteer sample was obtained from advertisements. All subjects acknowledged post-polio syndrome symptoms.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Neuromuscular variables were isometric knee extension peak torque, endurance (time to exhaustion) at 40% of maximal torque, tension time index, and recovery of torque at 10 minutes. Electromyographic variables were macro EMG and single fiber EMG (percent blocking and jitter).

RESULTS: Macro EMG amplitude was ninefold the control value, and both jitter and blocking were greatly increased in comparison to control values. Isometric strength significantly (p < .05) correlated negatively with macro EMG amplitude.

CONCLUSIONS: The weakest subjects had the greatest number of muscle fibers within the motor unit (as measured by macro EMG amplitude). Jitter and blocking did not correlate with neuromuscular function.

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