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Could muscle deformity in children with spastic cerebral palsy be related to an impairment of muscle growth and altered adaptation?

Authors


Dr Martin Gough at One Small Step Gait Analysis Laboratory, Guy’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK. E-mail: martin.gough@gstt.nhs.uk

Abstract

Skeletal muscle deformity is common in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP), but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. This review explores some possible factors which may influence the development of muscle deformity in CP. Normal muscle function and growth appear to depend on the interaction of neuronal, endocrinal, nutritional, and mechanical factors, and also on the development of an appropriate balance between muscle protein synthesis and degradation, and between the development of contractile and non-contractile components. In this context, the changes seen in muscle in children with CP are reviewed and discussed. It is suggested that the development of muscle deformity in children with CP may be related to a multifactorial impairment of muscle growth, on which adaptation of the extracellular matrix due to altered loading may be imposed.

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