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Modularity of the Human Musculoskeletal System: The Correlation between Functional Structures by Computer Tools Analysis

Abstract: For many years, anatomical studies have been conducted with a shattered view of the body. Although the study of the different apparatuses provides a systemic view of the human body, the reconstruction of the complex network of anatomical structures is crucial for the understanding of structural and functional integration. Aim: We used network analysis to investigate the connection between the whole-body osteo-myofascial structures of the human musculoskeletal system. Materials and Methods: The musculoskeletal network was performed using the aNETomy® anatomical network with the implementation of the open-source software Cytoscape for data entry. Results: The initial graph was applied with a network consisting of 2298 body parts (nodes) and 7294 links, representing the musculoskeletal system. Considering the same weighted and unweighted osteo-myofascial network, a different distribution was obtained, suggesting both a topological organization and functional behavior of the network structure. Conclusions: Overall, we provide a deeply detailed anatomical network map of the whole-body musculoskeletal system that can be a useful tool for the comprehensive understanding of every single structure within the complex morphological organization, which could be of particular interest in the study of rehabilitation of movement dysfunctions.

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