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J Neurol Sci. 2008 Mar 15;266(1-2):51-6. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Higher amount of MyHC IIX in a wrist flexor in tetraplegic compared to hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

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Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Spastic cerebral palsy can be divided into diagnostic groups by the relative severity of the arm impairment. This study investigates if hemiplegic, tetraplegic or diplegic cerebral palsy (CP) results in different patterns of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) expression in the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle from 17 young patients with CP. Using enzyme-immunohistochemistry and gel electrophoresis techniques we found a higher percentage of fibers expressing fast MyHC IIx (52%) in tetraplegic CP compared to hemiplegic patients (32%), (p<0.05). Tetraplegic CP also resulted in a lower amount of fibers expressing slow MyHC I (18%) compared to hemiplegic CP (40%), (p<0.005). The proportion of muscle fibers containing fetal MyHC was higher in tetraplegic CP compared to other groups, (p<0.005). Taken together theses results indicate that tetraplegic CP is associated with a shift from slow to fast myosins and that regenerative events are more prominent in tetraplegic CP compared with milder brain damage.

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