Using two identical thermostimulators which operated on the Peltier principle, thermal cutaneous sensation of the hand and the foot was investigated in 36 normal subjects and in 20 patients with diabetic neuropathy. Using a two-alternative forced-choice testing procedure, thermal discrimination thresholds were determined twice. The values found in normal subjects are comparable with data from the literature. It was confirmed that thermal discrimination of the foot decreased with increasing age. In patients with diabetic neuropathy the increased thresholds for the foot could be correlated with length-dependent degeneration of small nerve fibres.
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