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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 83:1137-1138 doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-303569
  • Impact commentaries
  • A MODERN PERSPECTIVE ON SOME OF THE MOST HIGHLY CITED JNNP PAPERS OF ALL TIME

Sensory nerve action potentials in patients with peripheral lesions

  1. Thomas Sears
  1. Correspondence to Professor Emeritus T Sears; thomas.sears{at}kcl.ac.uk
  • Accepted 28 June 2012
  • Published Online First 25 August 2012

SENSORY NERVE ACTION POTENTIALS IN PATIENTS WITH PERIPHERAL LESIONS1

Authors: Gilliatt RW, Sears TA

Published: 1958

Dr Thomas Sears recalls his 1958 paper and discusses the clinical, physiological and technical background from the perspective of a basic scientist

Graduating in 1952, I could hardly have known that 60 years on I would be writing about this 1958 paper!1 Had he lived, Roger Gilliatt would have provided a secure clinical perspective. Of necessity, my commentary reflects on the clinical, physiological and technical background from the perspective of a basic scientist. Initially my post at ‘Queen Square’ was physiologist in the EEG department under Dr ‘Bill’ Cobb, a distinguished electroencephalographer and electromyographer. In Stockholm, Bill had collaborated with Eric Kugelberg studying the post-ischaemic repetitive firing of motor nerve fibres after a pressure cuff is released.2 Their use of two cuffs with pressure first released in the proximal one proved, (a) that the repetitive discharges arose in axons at the local site of compression induced ischaemia; (b) that conduction velocity slows through that region; and (c) that such repetitive activity of sensory fibres would explain and support Merrington …

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