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This study is aimed to explore the frequency characteristics of pain-evoked neuromagnetic responses in the secondary somatosensory (SII) cortices.
Thulium-laser nociceptive stimuli to the left hand dorsum of 10 right-handed healthy adults. The pain stimuli were rated as mild, moderate, and severe levels according to subjects' reports on a 10-point visual analog scale. We analyzed their cortical responses with wavelet-based frequency analyses and equivalent current dipole (ECD) modeling.
For each pain level, we found an increase of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) power in bilateral SII areas at 180-210 ms after stimulus onset. The power was larger for the moderate than for the mild pain level (p < 0.05), but there was no statistical power difference of these oscillations between moderate and severe pain stimulus conditions (p = 0.7). Within the SII area, we did not observe particular difference in theta and alpha ECD locations between varying pain level conditions.
The 4-13 Hz activities, peaking from 180 to 210 ms, are oscillatory correlates of SII activation in response to nociceptive stimulation, but their power may code the magnitude of pain stimuli only up to moderate level, as rated subjectively. This measure could be potentially used to evaluate SII activation in further pain studies.
To determine the impact of check size and interstimulus interval (ISI) on neuromagnetic visual cortical responses.
We recorded visual evoked fields to pattern-reversal stimulation with central occlusion in ten subjects. The ~100 ms magnetic activation (P100m) was analyzed by single dipole modeling.
With 1 s ISI, P100m strengths increased as check size increased from 15' up to 120' of visual arc, and larger checks elicited less P100m activation. With 120' checks, we found no P100m attenuation as ISI decreased from 4 s to 0.16 s. P100m sources around the calcarine sulcus did not vary with check size or ISI.
The magnitude of cortical activation during visual contrast processing is check size-dependent and the 120' checks are optimum for future studies on neuromagnetic visual cortical functions using central-occluded stimulation. The corresponding neuronal activation demonstrated a short refractory period less than 0.16 s. We also found significantly overlapping cortical representation areas for different check sizes or ISIs.
Kennedy's disease (KD) is an X-linked recessive polyglutamine disease. Traditionally, it is a lower motor neuron syndrome with additional features such as gynecomastia and tremor. Sensory symptoms are minimal if ever present. We used multimodal evoked potential (EPs) tests to study the distribution of the involvement of the disease.
Visual, brainstem auditory, somatosensory and motor EPs were studied in six KD patients. All of them had typical presentations and had been proved genetically.
Abnormal findings were noted as follows: prolonged peak latencies of visual EPs, increased hearing threshold level, inconsistent brainstem auditory EPs, decreased amplitudes of cortical potentials of somatosensory EPs, and increased motor threshold to transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Our multimodal EP studies showed that KD involved multiple levels of the nervous system. It implies the widespread effects of the mutant androgen receptors.
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