Differential aging of median and ulnar sensory nerve parameters

Authors

  • Robert A. Werner MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration Hospital, 2215 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA
    2. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    • Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration Hospital, 2215 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA
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  • Alfred Franzblau MD,

    1. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Hannah J.S. D'Arcy MS,

    1. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Bradley A. Evanoff MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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  • Henry C. Tong MD

    1. Michigan Head and Spine Institute, Southfield, Michigan, USA
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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

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