Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Juvenile Muscular Atrophy of Distal Upper Extremity (Hirayama Disease)
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2000 Volume 39 Issue 4 Pages 283-290


This disease is characterized by initially progressive muscular weakness and wasting of the distal upper limb(s) in young people predominantly in men, followed by a spontaneous arrest within several years. This disease has been thought to be separate from motor neuron diseases, yet some authors still consider the illness a variant of motor neuron disease. However, the pathological evidence of ischemic changes in the lower cervical anterior horn should facilitate differentiation of the disorder from degenerative motor neuron disease. Recent radiological investigations proved compressive flattening of the lower cervical cord due to forward displacement of the cervical dural sac and spinal cord induced by neck flexion. These findings suggest that sustained or repeated neck flexion may cause ischemic changes in the cervical anterior horn. Application of a cervical collar to minimize neck flexion prevents progressive muscular weakness in an early stage of the disease.
(Internal Medicine 39: 283-290, 2000)

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