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Clin Neurophysiol. 2000 Nov;111(11):2064-70.

Neuromuscular consequences of prolonged hunger strike: an electrophysiological study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Capa 34390, Istanbul, Turkey. aemreoge@superonline.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to determine the electrophysiological consequences of neuromuscular and central nervous system involvement in a group of patients presented with the neurological complications of a long-term hunger strike (HS).

METHODS:

Motor and sensory nerve conduction (NCV), F wave, somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) and motor evoked potential (MEP) studies were performed in 12 male and 3 female patients (mean age: 29.4) following HS.

RESULTS:

All patients whose weight loss was 11-31 (mean: 22.8) kg after 69-day HS, had neurological findings consistent with Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Abnormally prolonged latency and/or low amplitude sensory nerve action potentials were found in 7 patients. The amplitudes of compound muscle action potentials were significantly reduced in ulnar, median and tibial motor NCV studies as compared to the controls. F waves elicited by median nerve stimulation at wrist and muscle responses evoked by cervical and lumbar magnetic stimulation had significantly prolonged latencies. MEPs recorded from the lower extremities showed a slight prolongation in central conduction times. The cortical response latencies were prolonged in tibial SEPs.

CONCLUSIONS:

The most prominent finding in this patient group was the low amplitude of CMAPs elicited in motor NCV studies which was concluded to be resulted from the reversible muscular changes. The other electrophysiological findings suggested that peripheral nerves and long central nervous system pathways were also mildly involved.

PMID:
11068243
DOI:
10.1016/s1388-2457(00)00458-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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