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Muscle Nerve. 2006 Jul;34(1):105-7.

Unmyelinated tactile afferents underpin detection of low-force monofilaments.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Poole Hospital and University of Bournemouth, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.


Human hairy but not glabrous skin has unmyelinated (C) tactile (CT) afferents that project to insular cortex. We studied two subjects with the rare sensory neuronopathy syndrome who lack A-beta fibers but have relatively preserved C-fiber function. Weak monofilaments were detected on hairy skin alone. Hence, the ability to detect light touch does not depend entirely on the A-beta somatosensory system; CT afferents may contribute to the detection of weak monofilaments.

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