The purpose of this study was to establish the phrenic nerve conduction time (PNCT) for magnetic stimulation and further assess the relatively new technique of anterior unilateral magnetic stimulation (UMS) of the phrenic nerves in evaluating the diaphragm electromyogram (EMG). An oesophageal electrode was used to record the diaphragm compound muscle action potential (CMAP) elicited by supramaximal percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation (ES) and UMS from eight normal subjects. The oesophageal electrode used for recording the CMAP was positioned at the level of the hiatus and 3 cm below. The diaphragm CMAP was also recorded from chest wall surface electrodes in five subjects. All of the phrenic nerves could be maximally stimulated with UMS. A clear plateau of the amplitude of the CMAP was achieved for the right and left phrenic nerves. The mean amplitudes of the CMAP recorded from the oesophageal electrode were, for the right side, 0.74+/-0.29 mV (mean+SD) for ES and 0.76+/-0.30 mV for UMS with maximal power output, and for the left side 0.88+/-0.33 mV for ES and 0.80+/-0.24 mV for UMS. PNCT measured by the oesophageal electrode with ES and UMS with maximal output were, for the right side, 7.0+/-0.8 ms and 6.9+/-0.8 ms, respectively, and for the left side 7.8+/-1.2 ms and 7.7+/-1.3 ms, respectively. However, the CMAP recorded from chest wall surface electrodes with UMS was unsuitable for the measurement of PNCT. The results suggest that unilateral magnetic stimulation of the phrenic nerves combined with an oesophageal electrode can be used to assess diaphragmatic electrical activity and measure the phrenic nerve conduction time. (+info)
(2/2444) A clinical study of motor evoked potentials using a triple stimulation technique.
Amplitudes of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) are usually much smaller than those of motor responses to maximal peripheral nerve stimulation, and show marked variation between normal subjects and from one stimulus to another. Consequently, amplitude measurements have low sensitivity to detect central motor conduction failures due to the broad range of normal values. Since these characteristics are mostly due to varying desynchronization of the descending action potentials, causing different degrees of phase cancellation, we applied the recently developed triple stimulation technique (TST) to study corticospinal conduction to 489 abductor digiti minimi muscles of 271 unselected patients referred for possible corticospinal dysfunction. The TST allows resynchronization of the MEP, and thereby a quantification of the proportion of motor units activated by the transcranial stimulus. TST results were compared with those of conventional MEPs. In 212 of 489 sides, abnormal TST responses suggested conduction failure of various degrees. By contrast, conventional MEPs detected conduction failures in only 77 of 489 sides. The TST was therefore 2.75 times more sensitive than conventional MEPs in disclosing corticospinal conduction failures. When the results of the TST and conventional MEPs were combined, 225 sides were abnormal: 145 sides showed central conduction failure, 13 sides central conduction slowing and 67 sides both conduction failure and slowing. It is concluded that the TST is a valuable addition to the study of MEPs, since it improves detection and gives quantitative information on central conduction failure, an abnormality which appears to be much more frequent than conduction slowing. This new technique will be useful in following the natural course and the benefit of treatments in disorders affecting central motor conduction. (+info)
(3/2444) The role of ventral medial wall motor areas in bimanual co-ordination. A combined lesion and activation study.
Two patients with midline tumours and disturbances of bimanual co-ordination as the presenting symptoms were examined. Both reported difficulties whenever the two hands had to act together simultaneously, whereas they had no problems with unimanual dexterity or the use of both hands sequentially. In the first patient the lesion was confined to the cingulate gyrus; in the second it also invaded the corpus callosum and the supplementary motor area. Kinematic analysis of bimanual in-phase and anti-phase movements revealed an impairment of both the temporal adjustment between the hands and the independence of movements between the two hands. A functional imaging study in six volunteers, who performed the same bimanual in-phase and anti-phase tasks, showed strong activations of midline areas including the cingulate and ventral supplementary motor area. The prominent activation of the ventral medial wall motor areas in the volunteers in conjunction with the bimanual co-ordination disorder in the two patients with lesions compromising their function is evidence for their pivotal role in bimanual co-ordination. (+info)
(4/2444) The role of area 17 in visual imagery: convergent evidence from PET and rTMS.
Visual imagery is used in a wide range of mental activities, ranging from memory to reasoning, and also plays a role in perception proper. The contribution of early visual cortex, specifically Area 17, to visual mental imagery was examined by the use of two convergent techniques. In one, subjects closed their eyes during positron emission tomography (PET) while they visualized and compared properties (for example, relative length) of sets of stripes. The results showed that when people perform this task, Area 17 is activated. In the other, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied to medial occipital cortex before presentation of the same task. Performance was impaired after rTMS compared with a sham control condition; similar results were obtained when the subjects performed the task by actually looking at the stimuli. In sum, the PET results showed that when patterns of stripes are visualized, Area 17 is activated, and the rTMS results showed that such activation underlies information processing. (+info)
(5/2444) Magnetic measurements of pulmonary contamination.
The magnitic determination of pulmonary contamination is based on the remanent magnetization of ferromagnetic contaminating particles. The remanent field of the externally magnetized particles is proportional to their amount and shows their distribution. Although only magnetizable particles are detected with this method, the amount of the inhaled ferromagnetic substance can be used when the total dust exposure of the worker is estimated. In this work five shipyard welders were studied. First the particles disposed to the lungs were externally magnetized and then their distribution was mapped with a sensitive magnetometer. The magnitudes of the remanent fields measured from the welders differed from the fields measured from controls by several orders of magnitude. The radiographic findings showed a good correlation with the magnetic measurements, and further experiments will prove whether this method can partly replace presently used radiological investigations. (+info)
(6/2444) The effects of static magnetic fields and X-rays on instability of microsatellite repetitive sequences.
To determine the genetic effect of static magnetic fields (SMF), which are not supposed to produce any significant DNA damage, we took advantage of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) deficient cells, in which all the errors produced during DNA replication are left uncorrected. We first established a simple and less labor-intensive method to analyze genetic changes in microsatellite repetitive sequences in the MMR-deficient cells. After exposure to a strong SMF (6.34T) for 24 h, both MMR deficient HCT116 cells and proficient HeLa S3 cells did not exhibit any significant effect on microsatellite changes. Moreover, when HCT116 cells were synchronized at the G1/S boundary by aphidicolin and exposed to SMF during the whole S-phase, no increase in microsatellite changes was either observed. In contrast, irradiation by a low dose X-ray (2Gy) significantly increased microsatellite changes in HCT116 cells. This suggested that exposure to strong SMF may not induce any significant level of genetic changes in microsatellite sequences. (+info)
(7/2444) Magnetometric evaluation for the effect of chrysotile on alveolar macrophages.
Alveolar macrophages are thought to play an important role in fibrogenesis due to asbestos exposure. In this experiment, we evaluated the effect mainly by unique magnetometry and also by conventional methods such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity measurement and morphological observations. Alveolar macrophages obtained from Syrian golden hamsters by bronchoalveolar lavages were exposed 18 hours in vitro to Fe3O4 as an indicator for magnetometry and chrysotile for experiments. A rapid decrease of the remanent magnetic field, so called "relaxation", was observed after the cessation of an external magnetic field in macrophages phagocytizing Fe3O4 alone, while relaxation was delayed in those concurrently exposed to chrysotile. Since relaxation is thought due to the cytoskeleton-driven random rotation of phagosomes containing iron oxide particles, chrysotile is considered to interfere with the cytoskeletal function of macrophages. Release of LDH from chrysotile-exposed macrophages into the medium was recognized, but it was not significantly higher than the controls. Apoptosis was negligible in macrophages exposed to chrysotile by the DNA ladder detection, the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling method and morphological observations. Electron microscopical examinations revealed early necrotic changes in macrophages exposed to chrysotile. These findings indicate that cell magnetometry detects impaired cytoskeletal function due to in vitro exposure to chrysotile. (+info)
(8/2444) Cortical control of spinal pathways mediating group II excitation to human thigh motoneurones.
1. The possibility was investigated that cortical excitation to human thigh motoneurones is relayed via lumbar premotoneurones. 2. Test responses were evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in voluntarily contracting quadriceps (Q) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles: either a motor evoked potential (MEP) in surface recordings or a peak of cortical excitation in the post-stimulus time histogram (PSTH) of single motor units was used. These test responses were conditioned by stimuli to the common peroneal (CP) or gastrocnemius medialis (GM) nerves. 3. CP stimulation evoked a large biphasic facilitation of the Q MEP, with early, short-lasting, low-threshold (0.6-0.8 x motor threshold (MT)) and late, longer lasting and higher threshold (1.2-1.5 x MT) peaks separated by a period of depression. GM nerve stimulation evoked a similar early depression and late facilitation in the ST MEP. 4. CP-induced effects in the Q H reflex were different (smaller late facilitation not preceded by any depression), suggesting that CP and cortical volleys interact at a premotoneuronal level to modify the Q MEP. 5. Peaks of cortical excitation evoked by TMS in single motor unit PSTHs were modulated by the conditioning volley like the MEPs with, in Q motor units, early and late CP-induced facilitations separated by a depression, and in ST motor units a late GM-induced facilitation. Facilitations on combined stimulation (i) were greater than the sum of effects by separate stimuli and (ii) never affected the initial part of the cortical peak. 6. It is concluded that the features of the reported facilitatory interactions between cortical and peripheral volleys are consistent with interactions in a population of lumbar excitatory premotoneurones co-activated by group I and group II afferents. The potency of the effects suggests that a significant part of the cortical excitation to motoneurones of thigh muscles is relayed via these interneurones. 7. It is argued that the early depression in ST motoneurones and the separation of the two peaks of facilitation in Q motoneurones reflect a cortical facilitation of spinal inhibitory interneurones projecting on excitatory premotoneurones. (+info)