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New perspectives on the development of muscle contractures following central motor lesions

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Muscle contractures are common in patients with central motor lesions, but the mechanisms responsible for the development of contractures are still unclear. Increased or decreased neural activation, protracted placement of a joint with the muscle in a short position and muscle atrophy have been suggested to be involved, but none of these mechanisms are sufficient to explain the development of muscle contractures alone. Here we propose that changes in tissue homeostasis in the neuromuscular–tendon–connective tissue complex is at the heart of the development of contractures, and that an integrated physiological understanding of the interaction between neural, mechanical and metabolic factors, as well as genetic and epigenetic factors, is necessary in order to unravel the mechanisms that result in muscle contractures. We hope thereby to contribute to a reconsideration of how and why muscle contractures develop in a way which will open a window towards new insight in this area in the future. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume595
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1027-1038
Number of pages12
ISSN0022-3751
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • contracture, motor control, skeletal muscle

ID: 51975550