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01 July 2007

Nerve conduction study of healthy Asian Malays: The influence of age on median, ulnar, and sural nerves

Mohamed Saufi Awang, Jafri Malin Abdullah, Mohd Rusli Abdullah, Adnan Tahir, John Tharakan, Atul Prasad, Salmi Abdul Razak

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(7): CR330-332 :: ID: 487392

Abstract

Background:
Nerve conduction study is essential in the diagnosis of focal neuropathies and diffuse polyneuropathies. There are many factors that can affect nerve conduction velocity, and age is one of them. Most of the many studies of this effect, and the values from them, were on Caucasian subjects. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the effect of age on conduction velocity among healthy Asian Malay subjects by analyzing its influence on the median, ulnar, and sural nerves.
Material/Methods:
A total of 250 healthy subjects were recruited. The subjects were divided into four age groups. The nerves tested were the median, ulnar, and sural nerves. Surface electrodes were used and the temperature was kept constant. The nerves were stimulated and recorded at specific sites both for motor and sensory conduction velocities.
Results:
The mean velocities for the median and ulnar nerves, both motor and sensory, were 54.71±5.69 m/s (motor) and 54.04±7.02 m/s for the median nerve and 60.57±5.00 m/s (motor) and 52.92±5.89 m/s for the ulnar nerve. The mean velocity for the sural nerve was 47.97±4.48 m/s. Only median motor conduction velocity showed a significant reduction with increasing age (p=0.000).
Conclusions:
This study did not show any significant effect of age on nerve conduction velocities except for median motor conduction velocity. For future research it is planned to extend the recruitment to subjects who are much older (over 60 years of age) and study the effect of other personal factors such as height and body mass index on NCV.

Keywords: Motor Neurons - metabolism, Ulnar Nerve - metabolism, Sural Nerve - metabolism, Reference Values, Peripheral Nerves - physiology, Neurons, Afferent - metabolism, Neural Conduction - physiology, Nervous System Diseases - pathology, Nervous System, Median Nerve - metabolism, Malaysia

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