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Kröger, Stephan and Watkins, Bridgette (2021): Muscle spindle function in healthy and diseased muscle. In: Skeletal Muscle, Vol. 11, No. 1, 3

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Almost every muscle contains muscle spindles. These delicate sensory receptors inform the central nervous system (CNS) about changes in the length of individual muscles and the speed of stretching. With this information, the CNS computes the position and movement of our extremities in space, which is a requirement for motor control, for maintaining posture and for a stable gait. Many neuromuscular diseases affect muscle spindle function contributing, among others, to an unstable gait, frequent falls and ataxic behavior in the affected patients. Nevertheless, muscle spindles are usually ignored during examination and analysis of muscle function and when designing therapeutic strategies for neuromuscular diseases. This review summarizes the development and function of muscle spindles and the changes observed under pathological conditions, in particular in the various forms of muscular dystrophies.

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