Muscle function loss - Overview
Paralysis; Paresis; Loss of movement; Motor dysfunction
Definition of Muscle function loss:
Muscle function loss is when a muscle doesn't work or move normally. The medical term for complete loss of muscle function is paralysis.
Loss of muscle function may be caused by:
- A disease of the muscle itself (myopathy)
- A disease of the nervous system: nerve damage (neuropathy), or spinal cord injury, or brain damage (stroke or other brain injury)
The loss of muscle function after these types of events can be severe, and often will not completely return.
Paralysis can be temporary or permanent. It can affect a small area (localized) or be widespread (generalized). It may affect one side (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral).
If the paralysis affects the lower half of the body and both legs it is called paraplegia. It if affects both arms and legs, it is called quadriplegia. If the paralysis affects the muscles that cause breathing, it is quickly life threatening.
Diseases of the muscle that cause muscle-function loss include:
Diseases of the nervous system that cause muscle function loss include:
- Reviewed last on: 2/6/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Griggs RC, Józefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 418.
Barohn RJ. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 447.
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