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EMG waveforms: video companion to electromyography and neuromuscular disorders
  1. Kerry Mills

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    By David C Preston and Barbara E Shapiro (Pp 42 and PAL video, £55.00). Published by Butterworth-Heinemann, Woburn, 2000. ISBN 0-75-067278-1.

    The practice of electromyography, despite many advances in signal analysis, quantification, and computer modelling, remains to an extent an art. The experienced electromyographer relies as much, if not more so, on his ears as well as his eyes to recognise patterns of muscle electrical activity.

    Transferring this experience to trainees is a challenge, and this collection of video clips covering spontaneous activity (fibrillation, complex repetitive discharges, fasciculations, and various forms of myotonia and neuromyotonia) and voluntary EMG activity is a useful addition to our material. Each clip shows a standard EMG machine screen with an audio soundtrack and is introduced by a static video frame. Clips run for up to a minute and often display waveforms at different time resolutions. The making of measurements is also shown. It would have been preferable for a voiceover to have introduced each clip to highlight the points to be made. Reading the accompanying booklet works but has less impact. Some screen shots either show redundant information or small characters indicating, for example, amplitude, too small to read.

    Nevertheless this is a valuable resource to introduce trainees to the range of electrical muscle activity which might be encountered in clinical practice.

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