Focus on muscle relaxation in health and disease – from in vivo to in vitro and back again

Tuesday 16 April 2024, 4:30 pm
PhD student
J.P.F. Molenaar drs.
prof. dr. B.G.M. van Engelen, prof. dr. N.C. Voermans
dr. J. Doorduin

Symptoms that can indicate delayed muscle relaxation are common in the general population (cramps, myalgia, muscle stiffness). However, identifying those that suffer from an underlying myopathy can be challenging. In this thesis, we investigated muscle relaxation by suppressing the brain during a muscle contraction using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Reliable measurements using TMS allowed us to detect delayed muscle relaxation in various myopathies, suggesting its potential as a diagnostic tool. Additionally, we utilized various studies at the muscle cell/protein level (in vitro), enhancing our understanding of Brody's disease and Nemaline myopathy type 6; two myopathies characterized by delayed muscle relaxation. Our findings promote for an increased focus on muscle relaxation in clinical practice and research, emphasizing a combined in vivo and in vitro approach for correct diagnosis and understanding of disease mechanisms. 

Joery Molenaar (1985) obtained his Medical Degree in 2010 from the Radboud University and subsequently worked as a neurology trainee at Radboudumc. During this residency, he started work on his doctoral research. As of 2018 he joined the staff of the Neurology department at the Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem as a neurologist / clinical neurophysiologist.