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Module objectives: To expose students to genetic, biochemical and cell biological aspects of neuromuscular biology and muscle pathology. This advanced module focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of normal skeletal muscle functions, as well as the molecular pathogenesis of selected neuromuscular disorders. Specific sections will be concerned with the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and ultrastructure of skeletal muscle fibres, focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying development, differentation, fibre transitons and metabolic adaptations to changed functional demands. The diagnosis of muscle diseases and pathobiochemical aspects of major neuromuscular pathologies will be examined, including a discussion of disorders related to myasthenia gravis, myotonia, motor neuron disease, malignant hyperthermia, x-linked inherited muscular dystrophy, disuse atrophy and sarcopenia of old age. Cell biological and biochemical research tools in the study of the molecular pathogenesis of genetic, autoimmune and pharmacogenetic muscle disorders are described. The potential sites for genetic and cell biological interventions at different stages of the neuromuscular disease process will be discussed.