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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • electrodiagnostic test;
  • epidemiologic study;
  • median nerve;
  • nerve conduction studies;
  • sensory nerve function;
  • ulnar nerve

Abstract

Introduction: Nerve conduction velocity slows and amplitude declines with aging. Methods: Median and ulnar sensory nerves were tested at the annual meetings of the American Dental Association. Seven hundred four subjects had at least two observations. The rate of change in the nerve parameters was estimated while controlling for gender, age, change in hand temperature, baseline body mass index (BMI), and change in BMI. Results: Amplitudes of the median sensory nerve action potentials decreased by 0.58 μV per year, whereas conduction velocity decreased at a rate of 0.41 m/s per year. Corresponding values for the ulnar nerve were 0.89 μV and 0.29 m/s per year. The rates of change in amplitudes did not differ, but the median nerve demonstrated a more rapid loss of conduction velocity. Conclusions: The rate of change for the median conduction velocity was higher than previously reported. The rate of change of median conduction velocity was significantly greater than for the ulnar nerve. Muscle Nerve 45: 60–64, 2012