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Clin Neurophysiol. 2000 Mar;111(3):413-6.

A new method to increase nociception specificity of the human blink reflex.

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  • 1Institute of Neurology, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK.



The medullary R2 response of the blink reflex can be elicited by innocuous and noxious stimuli. The purpose of this study was to elicit a nociception specific R2 response with a new surface electrode.


In 10 healthy subjects the blink reflex was elicited using a standard (10-15 mA) and a new concentric surface electrode type (0.6-1.6 mA) which produces a pin-prick-like pain.


After topical local anaesthesia with lignocaine/prilocaine R1 was unchanged, R2 was attenuated by 12% after standard stimulation but was almost abolished (-91%) with the new electrode type.


Stimulation with low stimulus intensities but electrode-dependent high current density allows preferential depolarization of superficial nociceptive A-delta fibres. This new method is less traumatic than others and is useful in the study of trigeminal nociception.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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