Immobilization is often associated with decreased muscle elasticity. This condition is known as muscle contracture; however, the mechanism remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to clarify the mechanism governing muscle contracture in rat soleus muscle by identifying changes in ankle joint mobility, insoluble collagen concentration and type I and type III collagen isoforms following 1- and 3-week immobilizations. Following a 1-week immobilization, range of motion (ROM) of dorsiflexion declined to 90% of the control value; additionally, ROM dropped to 67.5% of the control value after a 3-week immobilization. This finding suggested that ankle joint mobility decreases in conjunction with extended periods of immobilization. Insoluble collagen concentration in soleus muscles, which was unchanged after 1 week of immobilization, increased 3 weeks after immobilization. These results may be indicative of collagen fibers with strong intermolecular cross-links contained in the muscle was made increased relatively by 3 weeks of immobilization. Therefore, the change in intermolecular cross-links may be significant in terms of progress of muscle contracture with longer periods of immobilization. On the other hand, the ratio of type III to type I collagen isoforms in muscular tissue increased following a 1-week immobilization; moreover, this ratio remained constant after 3 weeks of immobilization. These data suggested that muscle immobilization may induce type III collagen isoform expression. The increase in the ratio of type III to type I collagen isoforms do not change in parallel with the increase in the limitation in ROM; however, this phenomenon probably is not closely related to the progress of muscle contracture. The change of collagen isoform in immobilized muscle may be involved in the mechanism governing the progression of muscle fibrosis.
The objective of this study was to assess the effect of comprehensive exercise program widely accepted as a community-based physical intervention for the prevention of falling in the elderly persons on their controlling standing balance. Twenty-six community-dwelling elderly persons (13 males and females; 69.8 ± 2.8 years old) participated in this study. Daily exercise was comprised of walking for more than 30 min, stretching, muscle strengthening and balance exercise without exercise equipments. The intervention was continued for three months. Indicators of standing balance related to static balance, dynamic balance and postural response were measured before and after the intervention. As an effect of the intervention on static balance, the sway of center of pressure (COP) in the static stance significantly increased. In the dynamic balance, significant improvements were observed in one leg standing time, the 10-m gait time, functional reach. Additionally, the maximal movable length of COP which subjects can move voluntarily to right and left significantly increased. In the postural response, the integrated electromyography (IEMG) induced by postural response for sudden postural perturbation significantly decreased in the lower leg muscles. Since less muscular activities were sufficient to maintain posture, it was suggested that postural response was elicited more efficiently following the intervention. This study suggested that the comprehensive exercise program, which has been widely introduced as community-based interventions for the prevention of falling, have extensive effects on the control of standing balance covering static balance, dynamic balance and postural response in the elderly persons.
The aims of this study were to analyze 1) whether there was the relationship between the neonatal behavioral characteristics and amount of crying in premature infants at term age, and 2) what kind of difference between infants with high levels of crying and cry less on neonatal behavioral characteristics using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). The study participants consisted of 69 healthy low birth-weight infants who were admitted to the NICU at the Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan. This study analyzed the relationship between NBAS scores measured neonatal behavioral performance and crying at term age. This study results indicate that there was significant statistical negative correlation between the amount of total daily crying and Habituation, Range of state, Regulation of state, and Autonomic stability cluster scores and some individual items scores (Response decrement to light, Response decrement to tactile of foot, Alert responsiveness, Examiner persistence, Motor maturity, Irritability, General irritability, Cuddliness, Consolability, Self-quieting activity, and State regulation). The high levels crying group also showed higher responsivity than less crying group in the items of Peak of excitement, Rapidity of build-up, Irritability and General irritability. In conclusion, neonatal behavioral characteristics such as poor inhibit discrete stimuli while asleep, hyper-responsivity and poor state regulation abilities were risk factors of high levels of crying.
Myotonic dystrophy (MyD) is a neuromuscular disease that is autosomal dominant and the most common form of muscular dystrophy affecting adults. The clinical features of MyD include a multisystemic disorder characterized by myotonia, progressive muscle weakness and wasting, cataracts, premature balding and mental retardation. The most severe type of MyD is classified as congenital MyD (CMyD). The muscle weakness in CMyD is very severe, but muscle development can be observed in the period of growth. However, no clinical case of this type has been reported yet. Therefore, we report on a girl with CMyD who had an increase in muscle strength over a four-year period. The girl with CMyD participated in this study from the age of 9 to the age of 12. The measurement of muscle strength was recorded as the maximum score of grip strength with the use of dynamometers. Grip strength was assessed once a year by the same two physical therapists. Grip strength of CMyD for each year was markedly weak when compared with the normal controls, but muscle strength changed within some specific growth areas. The muscle weakness in CMyD was remarkable, but the result showed that specific muscle strength of CMyD in childhood was actually increased.