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On the mechanism of an increase of muscle performance and of vasodilation during emotional stress in man

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Abstract

The mechanism of the increase of muscle performance and of vasodilation during emotional stress was studied. The “emotional” increment of voluntary performance does not depend on the level of blood supply to the working muscles, and the effect is maintained under conditions of cessation of arterial inflow. Augmentation of muscle performance is also observed during emotional stress when isometric contraction is evoked by electrical tetanic stimulation of the nerve, when the number of muscle fibres participating in the evoked response does not increase during emotional stress. The “emotional” vasodilation is greatly reduced in patients suffering from McArdle's syndrome, in whom the normal course of glycolysis in muscles is disrupted. It is suggested that acetylcholine liberated from sympathetic fibres causes the activation of glycolysis in muscles, which in its turn induces vasodilation in resting skeletal muscles and increase of muscle performance during emotional stress.

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Kotz, Y.M., Rodionov, I.M., Sitnikov, B.F. et al. On the mechanism of an increase of muscle performance and of vasodilation during emotional stress in man. Pflugers Arch. 373, 211–218 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00580826

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Key words

  • Mental arithmetic
  • Skeletal muscle blood flow
  • Evoked contraction of skeletal muscle
  • Muscle metabolism
  • McArdle's syndrome