Overwork weakness in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Jun;84(6):825-7. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(02)04949-3.


Objective: To determine the incidence of overwork weakness in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

Design: Prospective survey.

Setting: Rehabilitation department for CMT in an Italian tertiary care hospital.

Participants: A total of 106 outpatients with CMT, selected for absence of other causes of weakness (age range, 11-69y), and 48 healthy volunteers (controls).

Interventions: The strength of 2 intrinsic hand muscles (abductor pollicis brevis [APB], first dorsal interosseous) in the dominant and nondominant hands was graded by using manual muscle testing and a modified Medical Research Council (MRC) Scale.

Main outcome measures: The side of the stronger muscle and the difference in strength between the nondominant and dominant muscles.

Results: Muscles were stronger on the nondominant side in 65.57% of patients versus 1.04% of controls, and on the dominant side in .94% of patients versus 84.38% controls. The difference in strength for first dorsal interosseous was .51 in patients and -.32 in controls (P>.01). The difference in strength for APB was .65 in patients and -.35 in controls (P>.01).

Conclusions: CMT muscles in the dominant hand are weaker than in the nondominant hand. This may be the result of overwork weakness.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / physiopathology*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Paresis / physiopathology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Prospective Studies