Motor unit number index (MUNIX): Principle, method, and findings in healthy subjects and in patients with motor neuron disease

CareFusion, Middleton, Wisconsin, USA.
Muscle & Nerve (Impact Factor: 2.28). 11/2010; 42(5):798-807. DOI: 10.1002/mus.21824
Source: PubMed


The motor unit number index (MUNIX) is a method for assessment of number and size (MUSIX) of motor units (MUs) using the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and surface electromyographic interference pattern (SIP). This method was used to study the hypothenar muscle in 34 healthy subjects to define normal range, and to study reproducibility. Four healthy subjects and 13 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were studied serially over a 1-year period. In healthy subjects, MUNIX showed good reproducibility. In serial studies, healthy subjects showed no change in the CMAP amplitude and MUNIX. ALS patients with minimal change in CMAP amplitude had a significant drop in MUNIX and increase in MUSIX, indicating MU loss compensated by reinnervation. When the CMAP changed significantly (>30%) in 1 year, the CMAP and MUNIX decreased in parallel. MUNIX would be useful to study MU loss in degenerative diseases of motor neurons. Muscle Nerve 42: 798-807, 2010.

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    • "STA-MUNE will therefore disproportionately sample from the early-recruited, smaller MUs and subsequently give an excessively high MUNE value. Another technique was developed recently, known as the motor unit number index (MUNIX) (Nandedkar et al. 2010). It does not use intramuscular "
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    ABSTRACT: Voluntary control of skeletal muscle enables humans to interact with and manipulate the environment. Lower muscle mass, weakness and poor coordination are common complaints in older age and reduce physical capabilities. Attention has focused on ways of maintaining muscle size and strength by exercise, diet or hormone replacement. Without appropriate neural innervation, however, muscle cannot function. Emerging evidence points to a neural basis of muscle loss. Motor unit number estimates indicate that by age around 71 years, healthy older people have around 40 % fewer motor units. The surviving low- and moderate-threshold motor units recruited for moderate intensity contractions are enlarged by around 50 % and show increased fibre density, presumably due to collateral reinnervation of denervated fibres. Motor unit potentials show increased complexity and the stability of neuromuscular junction transmissions is decreased. The available evidence is limited by a lack of longitudinal studies, relatively small sample sizes, a tendency to examine the small peripheral muscles and relatively few investigations into the consequences of motor unit remodelling for muscle size and control of movements in older age. Loss of motor neurons and remodelling of surviving motor units constitutes the major change in ageing muscles and probably contributes to muscle loss and functional impairments. The deterioration and remodelling of motor units likely imposes constraints on the way in which the central nervous system controls movements.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Biogerontology
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    • "An explanation for this could be that MUP size measured with HD-MUNE contained SMUPs of all thenar muscles, while in the creation of MUSIX only the SIPs of the APB were used. MUSIX was not correlated to the CMAP amplitude in both ALS patients and healthy controls, as also found previously (Nandedkar et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate how the motor unit number index (MUNIX) is related to high-density motor unit number estimation (HD-MUNE) in healthy controls and patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Both MUNIX and HD-MUNE were performed on the thenar muscles in 18 ALS patients and 24 healthy controls. Patients were measured at baseline, within 2 weeks, and after 4 and 8 months. Clinical evaluation included Medical Research Council (MRC) scale and the ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS). There was a significant positive correlation between MUNE and MUNIX values in ALS patients (r=0.49 at baseline; r=0.56 at 4 months; r=0.56 at 8 months, all p<0.05), but not in healthy controls. After 8 months, both MUNE and MUNIX values of the ALS patients decreased significantly more compared to MRC scale, ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS) and compound muscle action potential (CMAP) (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in relative decline of MUNIX and HD-MUNE values. In ALS patients, MUNIX and HD-MUNE are significantly correlated. MUNIX has an almost equivalent potential in detecting motor neuron loss compared to HD-MUNE. MUNIX could serve as a reliable and sensitive marker for monitoring disease progression in ALS.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
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    • "In MUNIX analysis, it should be noted that very low amplitude voluntary surface EMG signals can give very high ICMUC values. To exclude this artifact, three criteria were imposed to accept an SIP epoch [18]: (1) SIP area > 20 mVms; (2) ICMUC < 100; and (3) SIP area/CMAP area > 1. "
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    ABSTRACT: Notch filtering is the most commonly used technique for suppression of power line and harmonic interference that often contaminate surface electromyogram (EMG) signals. Notch filters are routinely included in EMG recording instrumentation, and are used very often during clinical recording sessions. The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the effects of notch filtering on electrically evoked myoelectric signals and on the related motor unit index measurements. The study was primarily based on an experimental comparison of M wave recordings and index estimates of motor unit number and size, with the notch filter function of the EMG machine (Sierra Wave EMG system, Cadwell Lab Inc, Kennewick, WA, USA) turned on and off, respectively. The comparison was implemented in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle from the dominant hand of 15 neurologically intact subjects and bilaterally in 15 hemiparetic stroke subjects. On average, for intact subjects, the maximum M wave amplitude and the motor unit number index (MUNIX) estimate were reduced by approximately 22% and 18%, respectively, with application of the built-in notch filter function in the EMG machine. This trend held true when examining the paretic and contralateral muscles of the stroke subjects. With the notch filter on vs. off, across stroke subjects, we observed a significant decrease in both maximum M wave amplitude and MUNIX values in the paretic muscles, as compared with the contralateral muscles. However, similar reduction ratios were obtained for both maximum M wave amplitude and MUNIX estimate. Across muscles of both intact and stroke subjects, it was observed that notch filtering does not have significant effects on motor unit size index (MUSIX) estimate. No significant difference was found in MUSIX values between the paretic and contralateral muscles of the stroke subjects. The notch filter function built in the EMG machine may significantly reduce the M wave amplitude and the MUNIX measurement. However, the notch filtering does not jeopardize the evaluation of the reduction ratio in maximum M wave amplitude and MUNIX estimate of the paretic muscles of stroke subjects when compared with the contralateral muscles.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
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