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Fast and slow twitch units in a human muscle
  1. R. E. P. Sica,
  2. A. J. McComas
  1. Muscular Dystrophy Research Laboratories, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne


    A study has been made of the isometric twitches of single motor units in the extensor hallucis brevis (EHB) muscle in man. The twitch contraction times ranged from 35 to 98 msec and the pooled results indicated the presence of at least two types of unit. The recorded twitch tensions also varied considerably (from 2 to 14 g) but were not related to the twitch speeds. The twitch tension developed by the whole EHB muscle depended on the initial length of the muscle and on the age of the subject. The EHB muscle was estimated to contain approximately 56 motor units.

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