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Influence de la maladie du muscle sur la commande descendante dans la parésie spastique et effets cliniques et biomécaniques de l'étirement chronique

Abstract : Spastic paresis is often understood as a neurologic disorder of the motor command that includes agonist paresis and antagonist overactivity. However, a second disorder, involving the muscle and named spastic myopathy, appears rapidly during the acute phase after the lesion. Hypo-mobilization in shortened position of some muscles of the paretic limbs, in the context of paresis of their antagonists, will reduce their longitudinal tension, which acts as the first event of a cascade of transformations involving genetic, structural, biomechanical, and then physiological mechanisms, leading to loss of muscle extensibility and length. At the subacute and chronic stages of this syndrome, the neurological and the muscular disorders coexist, seemingly feeding on each other.From a pathophysiological point of view, this research work started by exploring the entanglements between the neurological and muscular disorders, and the potential responsibility of spastic myopathy in the impairment of active function. The first study demonstrated that the loss of muscle extensibility in antagonists, when above a certain threshold, correlates with the degree of disturbance of the motor command directed to the agonist. The chronology of events established in the literature, with histological muscle abnormalities emerging always before the first expressions of motoneuronal overactivity, suggests a causal role of the muscle disorder in a part of the descending command disorder. The crucial role of the muscle disorder in the syndrome of spastic paresis should encourage clinicians to direct treatment towards techniques to stimulate muscle plasticity.Despite the classic use of muscle stretching in daily practice, its potential to increase muscle extensibility remains a subject of controversy, even though its long-term effects, i.e. over six months of daily implementation, have not been investigated. The second part of this work was thus therapeutic. We retrospectively explored the long-term effects of a daily, high load self-stretching programme within the Guided Self-rehabilitation Contract method, for at least a year. This work showed that this programme, applied over three years in paretic subjects, was increasingly associated with major gains in clinical muscle extensibility. A randomized controlled trial against conventional therapy, which used ultrasound exploration of structural parameters in the stretched muscles, demonstrated that this programme, applied over one year in subjects with stroke-induced chronic hemiparesis, enabled greater increase in plantar flexor fascicle length and active function improvement than conventional therapy.Taken together, these results will contribute to enhancing the knowledge about the evolving structural and mechanical muscle changes in spastic paresis, as a pathologic entity, spastic myopathy. Spastic myopathy needs to be specifically addressed, as it interacts with the neurological disorder and worsens functional impairment. Daily postures of high load self-stretch, guided by the therapist and self-monitored on a diary, should be prescribed and practiced over the long term, in order to treat spastic myopathy in subjects with spastic paresis.
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Maud Pradines. Influence de la maladie du muscle sur la commande descendante dans la parésie spastique et effets cliniques et biomécaniques de l'étirement chronique. Neurosciences [q-bio.NC]. Université Paris-Est, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PESC0089⟩. ⟨tel-02385540⟩

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