* * *Process of graphically recording the electrical activity of muscle, which normally generates an electric current only when contracting or when its nerve is stimulated.Electrical impulses are shown as wavelike tracings on an oscilloscope and recorded as an electromyogram (EMG), usually along with audible signals. The EMG can show whether muscle weakness or wasting is due to nerve impairment (as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and poliomyelitis) or muscle impairment or disease (myopathy).
* * *▪ medicinethe process of graphically recording the electrical activity of muscle. Normal muscle is electrically silent when at rest, but when it is active, as during contraction or stimulation, an electrical current is generated, and the successive action potentials (impulses) can be registered on a cathode-ray oscilloscope screen in the form of continuous wavelike tracings. The visual recording, called an electromyogram, or EMG, is customarily accompanied by auditory monitoring with a loudspeaker. For diagnostic purposes, records of muscle electrical activity are usually obtained during muscle relaxation, during voluntary contraction when needle electrodes are inserted into the muscle under study, and during muscle activity evoked by the stimulation of its nerve. Weakness or wasting of muscle is generally caused either by impairment of the nerves supplying it (neuropathic disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and poliomyelitis) or by intrinsic muscle impairment or primary muscle disease (myopathy). In neuropathic disorders, there is usually increased spontaneous activity during muscle relaxation (fibrillation and fasciculation), together with reduced, altered, or absent normal muscle action potentials. In myopathies, there is frequently a reduction in the amplitude or duration of the muscle action potentials and an increase in the complexity of their wave form.
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