How many muscles are there in the human body?

The human muscular system is composed of approximately 670 muscles. About fifty of them are found in each of the limbs, 170 in the head ad neck, and 200 in the trunk. Approximately a hundred muscles line the various organs of the body.

What are the main skeletal muscles?

The human body consists of three types of muscle tissue. The striated cardiac muscle, or myocardium, is a hollow muscle whose main function is to pump blood into the arteries. Smooth muscles are made up of non-striated muscle fibers. They are found in the walls of the intestines (allowing food passage in the digestive track), the arteries (blood circulation) and other organs. Striated muscles constitute the skeletal muscles which provide movement (locomotion, mimic, maintain posture and change of posture, etc.), under the control of the nervous system.

What role does the nervous system play in relation to movement?

The nervous system directs the body, and movement, by relaying signals through the body. The interpretation of sensory information, movement intention and the coordination of adequate muscle contractions enable the central nervous system to program movements. Muscle activity is controlled by the nervous system.

What are the main characteristics of muscle tissue?

Muscles generate strength and movement.

Muscle tissue has five main characteristics:

  • Excitability – ability to perceive and respond to stimuli
  • Contractility – ability to shorten with strength as a result of appropriate stimulation
  • Elasticity – physical characteristic of muscles, ability to stretch and return to original shape and length
  • Extensibility – ability to stretch
  • Plasticity – ability to modify its structure depending on the activity and to adapt to a type of effort.

What are the different types of muscle involvements?

They are numerous and concern genetic diseases (neuromuscular diseases), toxicological infections (tetanus, botulism), muscle cancers (muscle sarcoma), trauma caused by sports or accidents (tendinitis, muscle soreness, torn muscles, atrophies, etc.).

What is myology?

Myology can be defined as the knowledge and practices concerning the muscle. Medicine has investigated muscles and muscle contractions from ancient times, yet it is only in recent years that myology has its own identity within the medical and scientific field. By bringing together the study of healthy and pathological muscle in the same place, the Institute of Myology contributes to the emergence of a discipline in itself. Myology covers the study of healthy muscle, myogenesis, muscle diseases, injuries, aging, damage caused by sports, and the study of the physiology and physiopathology of skeletal, smooth, or cardiac muscle fibers.

What is the Summer School in Myology?

Every year, the Institute of Myology organises a Summer School which allows foreign nationals, or individuals from the French overseas territories (DOM-TOM) who cannot undertake the one-year DIU course, to benefit from a condensed course in myology.
In 2002, 38 students from 20 different countries attended the lectures of eminent French and foreign specialists in the fields of genetics and molecular biology of neuromuscular diseases, medical management, therapeutic prospects.

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What is the link between the study of neuromuscular diseases and myology?

The study of neuromuscular diseases has resulted in new knowledge in fields of muscle physiology that had not been explored before. Similarly, the understanding of the role of proteins in neuromuscular pathologies has brought to light the extraordinary complexity of muscle cells. As for the study of muscle, it has helped open up new avenues for potential therapeutics. Progress in genetic research has led to myology being acknowledged as a discipline in itself. Myology covers the study of myogenesis, muscle diseases, injuries, aging, damage caused by sports, and the study of the physiology and physiopathology of skeletal, smooth, or cardiac muscle fibers.

What is the Institute of Myology?

An international centre of expertise in the field of neuromuscular pathology, the Institute of Myology opened in 1997. Its specificity is to gather a broad spectrum of complementary activities – clinical, research, teaching and associative activities in the same place, around a common discipline :Myology.

Its objectives are to improve knowledge on muscle, its functioning, development, regeneration, trauma, pathologies, aging, and, therefore, to develop more effective treatments for muscle diseases.


What are the objectives of the Institute of Myology?

The Institute of Myology aims at coordinating patient-focussed research (fundamental, applied and clinical) and teaching on muscle. A point of reference and a place of expertise, the Institute of Myology is open to national and international stakeholders. An information centre, the Institute of Myology is intended to unite specialised teams and to coordinate the network of specialised consultations in France.

What is the mission of the Institute of Myology?

To reach its objectives, the Institute of Myology has set itself the following missions

  • To bring research, clinical activities and teaching together in the same place
  • To gather performing means of investigation for diagnosis and care;
  • To create a centre of expertise and a point of reference on muscle and muscle diseases
  • To set up coordinated clinical research programs
  • To participate in the development of new therapeutics
  • To provide families with adapted reception, support and medical expertise
  • To train and inform in order to increase understanding and public awareness of these diseases.


What is the administrative structure of the Institute of Myology?

The general structure of the Institute of Myology is under the medical and scientific direction of Pr Thomas Voit. AFM coordinates the structure and appoints a Secretary-General, Marianne Perreau-Saussine. Directly attached to AFM’s general management, the Institute of Myology is subjected to a separate budget presentation at AFM’s Board of Directors.

What are pluridisciplinary consultations?

Pluridisciplinary consultations enable patients and their families to be seen by several specialists in the course of a single visit, i.e neurologists, paediatricians, doctors, occupational therapists, cardiologists, lung specialists, orthopaedists, physiotherapists, stomatologists, nutritionists, clinical geneticists, etc.