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Motor-nerve conduction studies in young patients with diabetes mellitus

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Abstract

LITTLE information is available concerning the motor-nerve conduction velocity and its possible value in the overall treatment of young diabetics. In young, energetic patients, diabetes is of relatively short duration. Clinically, these patients often are neurologically asymptomatic; therefore, it would be most helpful to have a simple objective test to determine the presence of any early functional change in the peripheral nervous system. It is well known that in the adult diabetic an abnormally low motor-nerve conduction velocity may be the first sign of imminent clinical neuropathy.

A common neurologic disorder associated with diabetes mellitus clinically affects the peripheral nerves. Sensory symptoms have been reported earliest, and frequently first appear in the lower extremities in a distal and symmetric distribution. The evaluation of subjective symptoms being somewhat un-reliable, an objective test was sought for determining the extent of injury of the peripheral nerves in patients with diabetes mellitus. Nerve conduction velocities, of both motor and sensory nerves as related to the diabetic population have been reported.1–6 Most of these nerve-conduction tests were done on adult diabetics, in whom significant decreases in the motor-nerve conduction velocities were found.

Many young diabetic patients are examined regularly at this institution, thus offering us an excellent opportunity to study the motor-nerve conduction velocities in a young age group. This report presents the data of our study.

Selection of Patients and Method of Study

Determinations of motor-nerve conduction velocities in the median and the peroneal nerves were made in 20 young diabetic patients (12 females . . .


 

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