Multiple point electrical stimulation of ulnar and median nerves.
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A computer-assisted method of isolating single motor units (MUs) by multiple point stimulation (MPS) of peripheral nerves is described. MPS was used to isolate 10-30 single MUs from thenar and hypothenar muscles of normal subjects and patients with entrapment neuropathies, with the original purpose of obtaining a more representative mean motor unit potential for estimating the number of MUs in a muscle. The two important results that evolved from MPS however, were: (1) in the absence of 'alternation' MUs were recruited in an orderly pattern from small to large, and from longer to shorter latencies by graded electrical stimulation in both normal and pathological cases, (2) a comparison of the sizes of MUs recruited by stimulation proximal and distal to the elbow suggested that axonal branching can occur in the forearm 200 mm or more proximal to the motor point in intrinsic hand muscles.
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