Central motor conduction time in malnourished children
- Division of Neurology, Institute of Medical Sciences BHU, Varanasi, and Section of Paediatric Neurology, Department of Neurosciences, JLN Hospital and Research Centre, Bhilai MP 490006, India
- Dr S K Tamer, Department of Pediatrics and Neurology, 644, ‘Samidha’, Sindhia Nagar, PO-Durg MP 491001, India.
- Accepted 17 February 1997
The functional status of the descending motor pathways was assessed in malnourished children using transcranial electromagnetic stimulation of the cortex. Twenty children with different severities of malnutrition and 20 control subjects were studied electrophysiologically. The circular coil of a Dentac MAG 2 magnetic stimulator was applied tangentially over the vertex to stimulate the cortex. The muscle evoked potential in the children’s arms was recorded from the abductor pollicis brevis muscle and in their legs from the extensor digitorum brevis muscle on both sides of the body using surface electrodes. The muscle evoked potential of the abductor pollicis brevis and extensor digitorum brevis muscles was further obtained using root stimulation by applying the coil at the cervical and lumbar spine, respectively. The indices of cortical threshold, cortical latency, and central motor conduction time (ms) were evaluated in both arm and leg muscles on both sides. The results showed an increased cortical threshold (mean (SD) 1232.5 (134.06) in the study group v 1147.5 (99.31) in the control group) for the abductor pollicis brevis muscle and for the extensor digitorum brevis muscle (1325.00 (115.70) in the study group v 1190.0 (125.24) in the control group). Similarly, significant prolongation of the central motor conduction time (ms) (study group 6.67 (0.91)v control group 5.71 (0.74)) in the abductor pollicis brevis muscle was seen in malnourished children.