Trophic Changes in Afflictions of the Motor Unit

  • Michael A. Nigro


The motor unit includes the anterior horn cell, nerve fiber, motor end plate and muscle fiber. Varying pathology of any or all parts of the motor unit may produce significant, albeit clinically indistinguishable, trophic changes in the skin, muscle, joints and long bones. In some instances, early changes suggest particular clinical disorders, for example, spinal muscle atrophy and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. Quite often the distinguishing features are transitory or not at all present. The onset may occur in infancy, childhood or adulthood and progression may be slow, rapid, stuttering or quickly arrested, and these factors modify the extent of pathology and subsequent trophic changes. Muscles may become flaccid, firm or knotty on palpation.


Motor Unit Muscular Dystrophy Spinal Muscular Atrophy Lumbar Lordosis Joint Contracture 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Nigro
    • 1
  1. 1.P.C., OsteopathicGlendale Neurological AssociatesBirminghamUSA

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