Clinical Assessment of Neuromuscular Transmission

  • J. P. Payne
  • R. Hughes


The concept of neuromuscular transmission as a separate physiological entity was introduced by Claude Bernard in 1851 when he demonstrated by means of curare that the junction between nerve endings and muscle fibres possessed unique properties. The logic and simplicity of Bernard’s experiments have not been surpassed by more modern methods and they still offer a convenient and relatively inexpensive means of screening new drugs with a possible action at the neuromuscular junction. Bernard’s studies with curare focused attention on its peripheral actions and its therapeutic possibilities were soon recognised. By 1858 the drug had already been used in the management of tetanus and shortly thereafter albeit with less justification it had been employed in the treatment of a variety of diseases including chorea, epilepsy and hydrophobia.


Ulnar Nerve Neuromuscular Blockade Neuromuscular Block Neuromuscular Transmission Neuromuscular Blocking Agent 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Payne
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. Hughes
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Department of AnaestheticsRoyal College of Surgeons of EnglandLondonUK
  2. 2.St Peter’s HospitalsLondonUK
  3. 3.London HospitalLondonUK
  4. 4.Research Department of AnaestheticsRoyal College of Surgeons of EnglandLondonUK
  5. 5.St Peter’s HospitalsLondonUK

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