Neuromuscular Diseases: A general term encompassing lower MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; and certain MUSCULAR DISEASES. Manifestations include MUSCLE WEAKNESS; FASCICULATION; muscle ATROPHY; SPASM; MYOKYMIA; MUSCLE HYPERTONIA, myalgias, and MUSCLE HYPOTONIA.Respiratory Insufficiency: Failure to adequately provide oxygen to cells of the body and to remove excess carbon dioxide from them. (Stedman, 25th ed)Muscular Dystrophies: A heterogeneous group of inherited MYOPATHIES, characterized by wasting and weakness of the SKELETAL MUSCLE. They are categorized by the sites of MUSCLE WEAKNESS; AGE OF ONSET; and INHERITANCE PATTERNS.Myotonic Dystrophy: Neuromuscular disorder characterized by PROGRESSIVE MUSCULAR ATROPHY; MYOTONIA, and various multisystem atrophies. Mild INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY may also occur. Abnormal TRINUCLEOTIDE REPEAT EXPANSION in the 3' UNTRANSLATED REGIONS of DMPK PROTEIN gene is associated with Myotonic Dystrophy 1. DNA REPEAT EXPANSION of zinc finger protein-9 gene intron is associated with Myotonic Dystrophy 2.Hypoventilation: A reduction in the amount of air entering the pulmonary alveoli.Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne: An X-linked recessive muscle disease caused by an inability to synthesize DYSTROPHIN, which is involved with maintaining the integrity of the sarcolemma. Muscle fibers undergo a process that features degeneration and regeneration. Clinical manifestations include proximal weakness in the first few years of life, pseudohypertrophy, cardiomyopathy (see MYOCARDIAL DISEASES), and an increased incidence of impaired mentation. Becker muscular dystrophy is a closely related condition featuring a later onset of disease (usually adolescence) and a slowly progressive course. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1415)Respiratory Muscles: These include the muscles of the DIAPHRAGM and the INTERCOSTAL MUSCLES.Tracheostomy: Surgical formation of an opening into the trachea through the neck, or the opening so created.NADH Tetrazolium Reductase: Catalyzes the reduction of tetrazolium compounds in the presence of NADH.Muscular Atrophy, Spinal: A group of disorders marked by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord resulting in weakness and muscular atrophy, usually without evidence of injury to the corticospinal tracts. Diseases in this category include Werdnig-Hoffmann disease and later onset SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD, most of which are hereditary. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Neuromuscular Junction Diseases: Conditions characterized by impaired transmission of impulses at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. This may result from disorders that affect receptor function, pre- or postsynaptic membrane function, or ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE activity. The majority of diseases in this category are associated with autoimmune, toxic, or inherited conditions.Muscular Dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral: An autosomal dominant degenerative muscle disease characterized by slowly progressive weakness of the muscles of the face, upper-arm, and shoulder girdle. The onset of symptoms usually occurs in the first or second decade of life. Affected individuals usually present with impairment of upper extremity elevation. This tends to be followed by facial weakness, primarily involving the orbicularis oris and orbicularis oculi muscles. (Neuromuscul Disord 1997;7(1):55-62; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1420)Tracheotomy: Surgical incision of the trachea.Respiratory Therapy: Care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities associated with the cardiopulmonary system. It includes the therapeutic use of medical gases and their administrative apparatus, environmental control systems, humidification, aerosols, ventilatory support, bronchopulmonary drainage and exercise, respiratory rehabilitation, assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and maintenance of natural, artificial, and mechanical airways.Respiration, Artificial: Any method of artificial breathing that employs mechanical or non-mechanical means to force the air into and out of the lungs. Artificial respiration or ventilation is used in individuals who have stopped breathing or have RESPIRATORY INSUFFICIENCY to increase their intake of oxygen (O2) and excretion of carbon dioxide (CO2).Arthrogryposis: Persistent flexure or contracture of a joint.Insufflation: The act of blowing a powder, vapor, or gas into any body cavity for experimental, diagnostic, or therapeutic purposes.Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation: Application of positive pressure to the inspiratory phase when the patient has an artificial airway in place and is connected to a ventilator.Masks: Devices that cover the nose and mouth to maintain aseptic conditions or to administer inhaled anesthetics or other gases. (UMDNS, 1999)Myasthenia Gravis: A disorder of neuromuscular transmission characterized by weakness of cranial and skeletal muscles. Autoantibodies directed against acetylcholine receptors damage the motor endplate portion of the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION, impairing the transmission of impulses to skeletal muscles. Clinical manifestations may include diplopia, ptosis, and weakness of facial, bulbar, respiratory, and proximal limb muscles. The disease may remain limited to the ocular muscles. THYMOMA is commonly associated with this condition. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1459)Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood: A group of recessively inherited diseases that feature progressive muscular atrophy and hypotonia. They are classified as type I (Werdnig-Hoffman disease), type II (intermediate form), and type III (Kugelberg-Welander disease). Type I is fatal in infancy, type II has a late infantile onset and is associated with survival into the second or third decade. Type III has its onset in childhood, and is slowly progressive. (J Med Genet 1996 Apr:33(4):281-3)Muscular Diseases: Acquired, familial, and congenital disorders of SKELETAL MUSCLE and SMOOTH MUSCLE.Hereditary Sensory and Motor Neuropathy: A group of slowly progressive inherited disorders affecting motor and sensory peripheral nerves. Subtypes include HMSNs I-VII. HMSN I and II both refer to CHARCOT-MARIE-TOOTH DISEASE. HMSN III refers to hypertrophic neuropathy of infancy. HMSN IV refers to REFSUM DISEASE. HMSN V refers to a condition marked by a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy associated with spastic paraplegia (see SPASTIC PARAPLEGIA, HEREDITARY). HMSN VI refers to HMSN associated with an inherited optic atrophy (OPTIC ATROPHIES, HEREDITARY), and HMSN VII refers to HMSN associated with retinitis pigmentosa. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1343)Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Positive-Pressure Respiration: A method of mechanical ventilation in which pressure is maintained to increase the volume of gas remaining in the lungs at the end of expiration, thus reducing the shunting of blood through the lungs and improving gas exchange.Myography: The recording of muscular movements. The apparatus is called a myograph, the record or tracing, a myogram. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Ventilators, Mechanical: Mechanical devices used to produce or assist pulmonary ventilation.Ophthalmoplegia: Paralysis of one or more of the ocular muscles due to disorders of the eye muscles, neuromuscular junction, supporting soft tissue, tendons, or innervation to the muscles.Muscle Weakness: A vague complaint of debility, fatigue, or exhaustion attributable to weakness of various muscles. The weakness can be characterized as subacute or chronic, often progressive, and is a manifestation of many muscle and neuromuscular diseases. (From Wyngaarden et al., Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p2251)Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A degenerative disorder affecting upper MOTOR NEURONS in the brain and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and SPINAL CORD. Disease onset is usually after the age of 50 and the process is usually fatal within 3 to 6 years. Clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, atrophy, FASCICULATION, hyperreflexia, DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, and eventual paralysis of respiratory function. Pathologic features include the replacement of motor neurons with fibrous ASTROCYTES and atrophy of anterior SPINAL NERVE ROOTS and corticospinal tracts. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1089-94)Respiration Disorders: Diseases of the respiratory system in general or unspecified or for a specific respiratory disease not available.SMN Complex Proteins: A complex of proteins that assemble the SNRNP CORE PROTEINS into a core structure that surrounds a highly conserved RNA sequence found in SMALL NUCLEAR RNA. They are found localized in the GEMINI OF COILED BODIES and in the CYTOPLASM. The SMN complex is named after the Survival of Motor Neuron Complex Protein 1, which is a critical component of the complex.Survival of Motor Neuron 1 Protein: A SMN complex protein that is essential for the function of the SMN protein complex. In humans the protein is encoded by a single gene found near the inversion telomere of a large inverted region of CHROMOSOME 5. Mutations in the gene coding for survival of motor neuron 1 protein may result in SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD.Guillain-Barre Syndrome: An acute inflammatory autoimmune neuritis caused by T cell- mediated cellular immune response directed towards peripheral myelin. Demyelination occurs in peripheral nerves and nerve roots. The process is often preceded by a viral or bacterial infection, surgery, immunization, lymphoma, or exposure to toxins. Common clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, loss of sensation, and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Weakness of respiratory muscles and autonomic dysfunction may occur. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1312-1314)Electric Impedance: The resistance to the flow of either alternating or direct electrical current.Myositis: Inflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Cough: A sudden, audible expulsion of air from the lungs through a partially closed glottis, preceded by inhalation. It is a protective response that serves to clear the trachea, bronchi, and/or lungs of irritants and secretions, or to prevent aspiration of foreign materials into the lungs.Ventilator Weaning: Techniques for effecting the transition of the respiratory-failure patient from mechanical ventilation to spontaneous ventilation, while meeting the criteria that tidal volume be above a given threshold (greater than 5 ml/kg), respiratory frequency be below a given count (less than 30 breaths/min), and oxygen partial pressure be above a given threshold (PaO2 greater than 50mm Hg). Weaning studies focus on finding methods to monitor and predict the outcome of mechanical ventilator weaning as well as finding ventilatory support techniques which will facilitate successful weaning. Present methods include intermittent mandatory ventilation, intermittent positive pressure ventilation, and mandatory minute volume ventilation.Dystrophin: A muscle protein localized in surface membranes which is the product of the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy gene. Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy usually lack dystrophin completely while those with Becker muscular dystrophy have dystrophin of an altered size. It shares features with other cytoskeletal proteins such as SPECTRIN and alpha-actinin but the precise function of dystrophin is not clear. One possible role might be to preserve the integrity and alignment of the plasma membrane to the myofibrils during muscle contraction and relaxation. MW 400 kDa.Muscle Fibers, Skeletal: Large, multinucleate single cells, either cylindrical or prismatic in shape, that form the basic unit of SKELETAL MUSCLE. They consist of MYOFIBRILS enclosed within and attached to the SARCOLEMMA. They are derived from the fusion of skeletal myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SKELETAL) into a syncytium, followed by differentiation.Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease: A hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy transmitted most often as an autosomal dominant trait and characterized by progressive distal wasting and loss of reflexes in the muscles of the legs (and occasionally involving the arms). Onset is usually in the second to fourth decade of life. This condition has been divided into two subtypes, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) types I and II. HMSN I is associated with abnormal nerve conduction velocities and nerve hypertrophy, features not seen in HMSN II. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1343)Sleep Apnea Syndromes: Disorders characterized by multiple cessations of respirations during sleep that induce partial arousals and interfere with the maintenance of sleep. Sleep apnea syndromes are divided into central (see SLEEP APNEA, CENTRAL), obstructive (see SLEEP APNEA, OBSTRUCTIVE), and mixed central-obstructive types.Muscular Atrophy: Derangement in size and number of muscle fibers occurring with aging, reduction in blood supply, or following immobilization, prolonged weightlessness, malnutrition, and particularly in denervation.Scoliosis: An appreciable lateral deviation in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. (Dorland, 27th ed)Mice, Inbred mdx: A strain of mice arising from a spontaneous MUTATION (mdx) in inbred C57BL mice. This mutation is X chromosome-linked and produces viable homozygous animals that lack the muscle protein DYSTROPHIN, have high serum levels of muscle ENZYMES, and possess histological lesions similar to human MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY. The histological features, linkage, and map position of mdx make these mice a worthy animal model of DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.Mucus: The viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.Respiratory Function Tests: Measurement of the various processes involved in the act of respiration: inspiration, expiration, oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, lung volume and compliance, etc.Vital Capacity: The volume of air that is exhaled by a maximal expiration following a maximal inspiration.Postural Balance: A POSTURE in which an ideal body mass distribution is achieved. Postural balance provides the body carriage stability and conditions for normal functions in stationary position or in movement, such as sitting, standing, or walking.Peripheral Nerves: The nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, including the autonomic, cranial, and spinal nerves. Peripheral nerves contain non-neuronal cells and connective tissue as well as axons. The connective tissue layers include, from the outside to the inside, the epineurium, the perineurium, and the endoneurium.Peripheral Nervous System: The nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system has autonomic and somatic divisions. The autonomic nervous system includes the enteric, parasympathetic, and sympathetic subdivisions. The somatic nervous system includes the cranial and spinal nerves and their ganglia and the peripheral sensory receptors.Peripheral Nerve Injuries: Injuries to the PERIPHERAL NERVES.Sciatic Nerve: A nerve which originates in the lumbar and sacral spinal cord (L4 to S3) and supplies motor and sensory innervation to the lower extremity. The sciatic nerve, which is the main continuation of the sacral plexus, is the largest nerve in the body. It has two major branches, the TIBIAL NERVE and the PERONEAL NERVE.