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Adv Food Nutr Res. 1993;37:339-423.

Diseases and disorders of muscle.

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Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331.


Muscle may suffer from a number of diseases or disorders, some being fatal to humans and animals. Their management or treatment depends on correct diagnosis. Although no single method may be used to identify all diseases, recognition depends on the following diagnostic procedures: (1) history and clinical examination, (2) blood biochemistry, (3) electromyography, (4) muscle biopsy, (5) nuclear magnetic resonance, (6) measurement of muscle cross-sectional area, (7) tests of muscle function, (8) provocation tests, and (9) studies on protein turnover. One or all of these procedures may prove helpful in diagnosis, but even then identification of the disorder may not be possible. Nevertheless, each of these procedures can provide useful information. Among the most common diseases in muscle are the muscular dystrophies, in which the newly identified muscle protein dystrophin is either absent or present at less than normal amounts in both Duchenne and Becker's muscular dystrophy. Although the identification of dystrophin represents a major breakthrough, treatment has not progressed to the experimental stage. Other major diseases of muscle include the inflammatory myopathies and neuropathies. Atrophy and hypertrophy of muscle and the relationship of aging, exercise, and fatigue all add to our understanding of the behavior of normal and abnormal muscle. Some other interesting related diseases and disorders of muscle include myasthenia gravis, muscular dysgenesis, and myclonus. Disorders of energy metabolism include those caused by abnormal glycolysis (Von Gierke's, Pompe's, Cori-Forbes, Andersen's, McArdle's, Hers', and Tauri's diseases) and by the acquired diseases of glycolysis (disorders of mitochondrial oxidation). Still other diseases associated with abnormal energy metabolism include lipid-related disorders (carnitine and carnitine palmitoyl-transferase deficiencies) and myotonic syndromes (myotonia congenita, paramyotonia congenita, hypokalemic and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, and malignant hyperexia). Diseases of the connective tissues discussed include those of nutritional origin (scurvy, lathyrism, starvation, and protein deficiency), the genetic diseases (dermatosparaxis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, Marfan syndrome, homocystinuria, alcaptonuria, epidermolysis bullosa, rheumatoid arthritis in humans, polyarthritis in swine, Aleutian disease of mink, and the several types of systemic lupus erythematosus) and the acquired diseases of connective tissues (abnormal calcification, systemic sclerosis, interstitial lung disease, hepatic fibrosis, and carcinomas of the connective tissues). Several of the diseases of connective tissues may prove to be useful models for determining the relationship of collagen to meat tenderness and its other physical properties. Several other promising models for studying the nutrition-related disorders and the quality-related characteristics of meat are also reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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