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Following disease progression in motor neuron disorders with 3 motor unit number estimation methods

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  • Anna Bystrup Jacobsen
  • ,
  • Hugh Bostock, University College London
  • ,
  • Hatice Tankisi

INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to evaluate a recently developed motor unit number estimation (MUNE) method, MScanFit MUNE (MScan), as a measure of disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) compared with compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude and 2 traditional MUNE methods.

METHODS: ALS patients were evaluated clinically using the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R). MScan, multiple-point stimulation MUNE (MPS), and motor unit number index (MUNIX) were performed in the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle at baseline (27 patients), 4 months (23 patients), and 8 months (16 patients).

RESULTS: Of the 5 measures, MScan registered the largest decline (8.7% per month), compared with MPS (3.4%), MUNIX (4.8%), CMAP amplitude (2.0%), and ALSFRS-R (1.9%). Only MScan and ALSFRS-R registered significant decrements over 4 and 8 months.

DISCUSSION: MScan may be useful as a sensitive, objective tool for quantifying motor unit loss in ALS. Muscle Nerve 59:82-87, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Aged, Disease Progression, Electromyography, Evoked Potentials, Motor/physiology, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motor Neuron Disease/physiopathology, Motor Neurons/physiology, Muscle, Skeletal/physiopathology, Retrospective Studies

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