Sympathetic skin responses from the scalp evoked by electrical stimulation in seborrheic dermatitis


Correspondence: Burcu Altunrende M.D., Neurology Department, Istanbul Bilim University Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey. Email:


Although the role of autonomic nervous system in seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is still unclear, seborrhea is sometimes accepted as a sign of autonomic dysfunction in several nervous system diseases. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity in SD by recording sympathetic skin responses (SSR) from the scalp (S-SSR). Thirty-one control subjects and 22 SD patients were studied by evoking right and left S-SSR with electrical stimulation of the right median nerve at the wrist. Mean latencies and maximum amplitudes were calculated for both sides in each group. In seven out of 31 control subjects and in 13 out of 22 patients, the S-SSR could not be elicited on either side. There were four subjects with unilateral response in the patient group. There were significantly more non-responders among the patients with SD (< 0.000). This study suggests that in SD, the autonomic nervous system may be involved. The S-SSR is a new site for recording SSR. The responses are relatively symmetrical and can be evoked easily by electrical stimulation, and may be used to evaluate the SNS function in SD patients and also in healthy subjects.