Common diseases Of the Muscular System

Published on 10th December 2018

The Muscular System is a module in the ITEC Anatomy and Physiology course we provide as an E-Course. 

If you are studying anatomy and physiology and have missed a class or need some extra help with a particular system, you can buy each body system individually.  The Anatomy and Physiology of the Muscular system including; film, workbook, online assessments, supplementary notes and self assessment questions. (FHT CPD Value = 5 Points) Price £28.25

The muscular system consists  of  3 types of muscles: skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. It permits movement of the body, maintains posture and allows bodily functions such as digestion and circulates blood throughout the body.

There are many types of common diseases of the muscular system which include:

Motor Neuron Disease

Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases that affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that instruct your muscles what to do. With MND, messages from these nerves gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.  Stephen Hawking had a form of motor neuron disease called  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which gradually paralysed him over the length of his life. That he lived to be 76 when at 21 he was given 2 years to live is a testament to him and the wonders of the human body. 

The causes of MND are still unclear , as different things may trigger the disease for each individual.

However it is believed  that when a number of genetic and environmental factors combine MND can develop. Finding out which factors are involved and how they combine is helping researchers discover why the disease begins.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour. However, MND affects everyone differently. Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.

MND is life-shortening and there is no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life.


Central Core Disease

Central core disease has been given this name because when muscles are viewed under the microscope, there are clearly defined regions that lack the normal cell components such as mitochondria or sarcoplasmic reticulum.

The disease results from a mutation in something called the  ryanodine receptor gene (RYR1). Although the disease is inherited, which normally  means that symptoms would also be present in a parent, the gene is not normally fully expressed—even if someone has the active form of the mutation, sometimes their symptoms are mild.

Central core disease can also impact children leading to delayed motor development. For example, the child may not walk until they are age 3 or 4. Sometimes the onset may come on even later, in adulthood, though, in this case, the symptoms are usually milder. Sometimes they only become apparent after receiving an anesthetic medication, which causes a severe reaction in people with this disorder.


Parkinsons Disease

People with Parkinson's usually develop it later in life and don't have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that manufacture it have died.

Most people with a form of parkinsonism have idiopathic Parkinson's disease, also known as Parkinson's, that is the cause is unknown. The main symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's are tremor, rigidity (stiffness) and slowness of movement.

There are different aspects of Parkinsons disease. 

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

People with multiple system atrophy can also develop symptoms such as incontinence, difficulty with swallowing and dizziness. These symptoms are unusual in early Parkinson’s.

Progressive supranuclear palsy

Th disease effects eye movement it can upset balance, mobility, speech and also swallowing. It is also known as Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

The symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus usually affect the lower half of the body resulting in such symptoms as 

walking difficulties, urinary incontinence and memory problems.


You can find more information on the Muscular System here




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