Somatosensory evoked potentials reflect the upper limb motor performance in multiple sclerosis

Viviana Nociti, Anna Paola Batocchi, Simona Bartalini, Marcella Caggiula, Francesco Patti, Paolo Profice, Aldo Quattrone, Pietro Tonali, Monica Ulivelli, Paola Valentino, Daniela Virdis, Mario Zappia, Luca Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this multicentric study was to multidimensionally evaluate the relationship among somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) parameters, patient's perspective and clinical measures of the upper limb impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We consecutively enrolled 39 MS patients. For median nerve SEPs we acquired the N9, P14, N20 responses and the N9-P14 and P14-N20 interpeak latencies on the dominant side. We also used a validated patient-oriented questionnaire (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand - DASH) and a test of dexterity quantification as the 9-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT). Results: A significant longer time to complete the 9-HPT (p <0.00006) was observed in patients with abnormal SEPs. Patients with undetectable N20 or P14 responses performed the 9-HPT in a significant longer time than patients with detectable responses (p <0.0006 and p <0.001 respectively). Concerning the perspective of patient (evaluated with the DASH questionnaire) significant differences in patients with undetectable P14 response (p <0.01) were observed. Conclusions: Our data provide further information useful for interpretation of SEPs results, being the median nerve SEPs related to the upper limb performance in MS patients. Significance: These data increase the significance of SEPs both in clinical practice and in experimental studies in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2008


  • 9-Hole Peg Test
  • Ashworth scale
  • DASH
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials
  • Upper limb performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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