Motor reflex responses elicited by cutaneous stimulation in the regenerating nerve of man: axon reflex or ephaptic response?

Muscle & Nerve
L Montserrat, M Benito


In 57 of 60 nerves (29 median and 31 ulnar) sutured at the wrist, forearm and arm, we recorded motor responses in thenar or hypothenar muscles by electrical stimulation of the corresponding fingers. Recordings were made at different times during the process of regeneration, ranging from 3 months up to 11 years. The responses showed a constant shape and latency to every stimulation (simple or repetitive). The latency was shorter the more distal the level of injury and the greater the elapsed time from the reinnervation. The point of "reflexion" of the responses is at or very near the line of nerve suture. The electrophysiological behavior of the responses fits well with either the criterion of axon reflex or ephaptic response. We discuss both possibilities and conclude that it is not possible, with the electrophysiological technique that we used, to distinguish between an axon reflex and an ephaptic response.


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Dec 18, 2001·Muscle & Nerve·J G van DijkM J Malessy
Apr 1, 1992·Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology·M R Magistris, G Roth
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