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Physiol Meas. 2009 Jul;30(7):719-27. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/30/7/014. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Quantitative myotonia assessment using force relaxation curve modelling.

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Institut de Myologie, GH Pitié-Salpêtrière, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France.


The lack of a robust quantitative measure of myotonia has been underlined in previous studies. Recent publications have proposed methods to quantify myotonia based on the measurement of force relaxation times during maximal contractions. However, they present several drawbacks mainly due to unstable force, odd peaks or digital noise. A possible solution to this issue consists in fitting the force curve with a convenient regression model. The aim of this study was, therefore, to provide a regression model in order to fit the force relaxation time curve automatically and to provide a robust index for quantitative assessment of myotonia in clinical settings. Force curves were fitted by an asymmetric sigmoidal function. The inverse function was then used to compute various absolute and relative relaxation times automatically. These variables were calculated for 16 controls and 16 patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). All variables were significantly increased in DM1 patients compared to controls. For instance, the relaxation time between 40 and 60% of the initial contraction level was 18.2 (SD: 3.3) ms in controls and 40.1 (SD: 17.7) ms in DM1 patients. All relaxation variables were highly discriminant. Force curve modelling provides an objective and effective quantification of myotonia.

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