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Study of sensitivity to curare in certain neurological disorders using a regional technique.
  1. J C Brown,
  2. J E Charlton


    A regional technique for the study of curare sensitivity has been applied to patients with Duchenne type muscular dystrophy, myotonic disorders, certain lower motor neurone disorders, to patients with weakness in the arm after hemiplegia, to patients with hyper-reflexia and hypertonia without weakness, and to Parkinsonism. In the dystrophy patients, sensitivity to curare differs from normal controls in that the neuromuscular block persists. The possibilities that this latent defect of neuromuscular transmission is the result of acetylcholine deficiency due to a prejunctional defect or the result of alterations in the property of the postjunctional membrane are discussed. In the myotonic and lower motor neurone disorders, curare sensitivity was similar to that of normal controls. After hemiplegia, the affected side shows resistance to curare when compared with the unaffected side. In states of hyper-reflexia and hypertonia, however, the sensitivity to curare is greater than in normal controls. In Parkinsonism, sensitivity is similar to that of the controls. The results in upper motor neurone lesions are discussed in relation to the dependence of neuromuscular transmission upon the motor neurone, which, in turn, is dependent upon descending impulses.

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