Median nerve sensory responses evoked by tactile stimulation of the finger proximal and distal phalanx in normal subjects

G. Caruso, M. Nolano, F. Lullo, C. Crisci, J. Nilsson, R. Massini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We compared the characteristics of near-nerve recorded sensory potentials elicited in response to electrical stimulation of digital nerves versus tactile stimulation of the digital skin in 17 healthy subjects with a mean age of 26 years. We also calculated the density of Meissner's corpuscles in the distal and proximal phalanx of digit III of 6 males who had suffered a violent death, but were free from diseases of the peripheral nerve system. Responses to tactile stimulation had a longer latency and lower amplitude than responses to electrical stimulation. Unlike electrically elicited responses, responses to tactile stimulation, which consisted of six or seven main spike components plus several minor components, were similar in recordings from the wrist and elbow. However, with proximal stimulation the electrically evoked responses were more compact and had a higher amplitude and area, whereas the tactile evoked potential became significantly reduced in maximum amplitude and cumulative area. The differences in sensory conduction between distal and proximal could reflect activation of a larger number of nerve fibers when electrical stimuli are used and a smaller amount of mechanoreceptors when tactile stimuli are used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Keywords

  • digit III phalanxes
  • median nerve
  • Meissner's corpuscles
  • tactile stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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