Is there an age-dependent continuous increase in the duration of the motor unit action potential?

C Bischoff, J Machetanz, B Conrad
Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 1991, 81 (4): 304-11
The duration of the motor unit potential plays an important role in the diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases, but is also subject to physiological variations. In order to evaluate the age-related changes the mean motor unit potential duration was studied in 4 proximal and distal muscles of the upper and lower extremities in 111 healthy subjects between 20 and 80 years. Contrary to the results of previous researches no marked increase of mean duration could be found in subjects younger than 55 years. Subjects older than 55 showed a slight tendency towards increased duration of the motor unit potential. These findings are interpreted as the result of changes in fiber density and are in accordance with single fiber EMG records.

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