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A method for estimating the number of motor units in thenar muscles and the changes in motor unit count with ageing
  1. W. F. Brown
  1. St. Joseph's Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada

    Abstract

    A method for estimating the number of motor units in median innervated thenar muscles is described. In normal human subjects under 40 years of age, the mean and 1 SD was 253+34. The number of motor units falls with increasing age, especially after mid life, so that elderly subjects often have less than one-half the number in youth despite good strength. The cause is not known but probably includes peripheral nerve trauma and `primary neuronal cell death'.

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