Effects of changes in intracellular action potential on potentials recorded by single-fiber, macro, and belly–tendon electrodes

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Some myopathies are accompanied by abnormal calcium homeostasis. Electromyography (EMG) in such patients shows signs of normal or myopathic EMG when detected by a single-fiber electrode and abnormally increased values in macro EMG. As calcium accumulation might be accompanied by changes in intracellular action potential (IAP) and muscle-fiber propagation velocity, we simulated the effects of such changes on motor unit potentials (MUPs) recorded by different kinds of electrodes. We found that: (1) the requirements for what potential can be accepted as a single-fiber action potential (SFAP) are too rigorous; (2) macro MUP amplitude can increase while SFAP amplitude can decrease when there is an increase in the spatial length of IAP spike; and (3) changes in the second phase of a belly–tendon-detected MUP or M wave could be used for noninvasive detection of increased IAP depolarizing (negative) after-potential.

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