Dec 2, 2000

Effects of membrane polarization and ischaemia on the excitability properties of human motor axons

Brain : a Journal of Neurology
M C Kiernan, H Bostock


Multiple nerve excitability measurements have been proposed for clinical testing of nerve function, since excitability measures can provide evidence of altered axonal membrane properties and are complementary to conventional nerve conduction studies. An important determinant of excitability is membrane potential, and this study was undertaken to determine the changes in a range of excitability properties associated with alterations in membrane potential. Membrane potential was varied directly using DC polarizing currents and indirectly by ischaemia. The median nerve was stimulated at the wrist and the resultant compound muscle action potentials recorded from abductor pollicis brevis. Stimulus-response behaviour, strength-duration time constant (tau(SD)), threshold electrotonus to 100-ms polarizing currents, a current-threshold relationship and the recovery of excitability following supramaximal activation were each followed in four normal subjects during the two manoeuvres, using a recently described protocol. Membrane depolarization and ischaemia produced an increase in axonal excitability, an increase in the slope of the current-threshold relationship, a 'fanning in' of responses during threshold electrotonus, a decrease in s...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Structure of Abductor Pollicis Brevis Muscle
Surface Electromyography
Structure of Median Nerve
Resting Potentials
Soleus Muscle Structure
Entire Abductor Pollicis Brevis Muscle
Motor Neurons

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