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Ion channels are essential for the basic physiological function of excitable cells such as nerve, skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle cells. Mutations in genes that encode ion channels have been identified to cause various diseases and disorders known as channelopathies. An understanding of how individual ion channels are involved in the activation of motoneurons and their corresponding muscle cells is essential for interpreting basic neurophysiology in nerves, the heart, and skeletal and smooth muscle. This review article is intended to clarify how channels work in nerves, neuromuscular junctions, and muscle function and what happens when these channels are defective. Highlighting the human diseases that result from defective ion channels is likely to be interesting to students in helping them choose to learn about channel physiology.
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