Alan J McComas

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The effects of aging on maximal voluntary strength and on the isometric twitch were determined in the ankle dorsiflexor and plantarflexor muscles of 111 healthy men and women aged 20-100 yr. Men were found to be stronger than women at all ages. In both sexes, the average values for maximum voluntary strength of the dorsiflexors and plantarflexors began to(More)
Twitch potentiation was studied in human tibialis anterior (TA) and plantarflexor (PF) muscles after maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs). Potentiation was greater in TA and other dorsiflexor (DF) muscles than in PF and was dependent on the intensity of the voluntary effect. It was also observed that potentiation was maximal after MVCs of approximately(More)
A study has been made of the responses of motoneurones innervating small muscles of the hand to electrical and mechanical stimulation of the skin. Both excitatory and inhibitory effects could be observed in the same muscle after a single stimulus to a given area of skin. The earliest excitatory and inhibitory responses are probably mediated by group III and(More)
Physiological studies have been made of extensor digitorum brevis muscles in 28 healthy subjects aged between 60 and 96. Within this elderly population there was evidence of muscle wasting and weakness. These changes were shown to result from a loss of functioning motor units. The surviving motor units were often enlarged and tended to have relatively slow(More)
An electrophysiological method is described for estimating the numbers of motor units in the extensor digitorum brevis muscle in man. The results obtained are compared with counts of axons in the nerve to the muscle. The significance of the sizes of the evoked motor unit potentials is discussed.
A study has been made of the effect of voluntary contraction on the `late' responses which can be recorded in muscles after indirect stimulation. Two late responses have been described of which the first was shown to consist mainly of a potentiated H-reflex. The potentiation of this wave was greatest in the abductor pollicis brevis muscle and depended(More)
1. Human soleus muscles were fatigued under ischaemic conditions by intermittent stimulation at 15 Hz. When maximal voluntary plantarflexion was then attempted, the loss of torque was found to be associated with a reduction in voluntary EMG activity. 2. The decrease in EMG activity could not have been due to 'exhaustion' of descending motor drive in the(More)
1. The effects of repeated excitation on the compound action potential, or M wave, of mammalian muscle fibres have been investigated in the human biceps brachii. 2. During continuous indirect stimulation at 10 and 20 Hz the mean voltage-time area of the M wave doubled within the first minute, while the mean peak-to-peak amplitude increased by approximately(More)
The contractile properties of the triceps surae (medial and lateral gastrocnemii and soleus) have been studied in humans. In comparison with most other human muscles, the triceps complex had a slow twitch (mean contraction and half-relaxation times 112.4 +/- 11.1 and 99.6 +/- 14.4 ms, respectively) and a low tetanus fusion frequency (60 Hz). Stretching the(More)