William F. Brown

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (8)6.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Frequency-dependent conduction block (FDB) across segments of demyelination in response to high-frequency nerve stimulation has been well demonstrated in animals and has been explored in humans. However, attempts to demonstrate this phenomenon in sensory fibers involved in entrapment neuropathies have been unsuccessful. Therefore, we investigated the effects of high-frequency nerve stimulation in the median motor nerve in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) with moderate to severely increased distal motor terminal latencies (MTL). As a group, the mean decrease in negative peak amplitude (npAmp) during 20 stimuli at 30-HZ frequency was significantly greater in CTS subjects (-11.3%) than in controls (+7.9%). The degree of FDB was greater when MTL was more prolonged (i.e., -4.9% at 5.0 ms and -25.3% at 9.4 ms) and FDB was more pronounced at higher stimulation frequencies (20 and 30 HZ). Our results suggest that the safety margin for impulse transmission is impaired in the motor axons of patients with a focal demyelinating lesion. These findings may correlate with the observation of weakness in the absence of conduction block in patients with entrapment neuropathies.
    Muscle & Nerve 05/2006; 33(5):619-26. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Decomposition-based quantitative electromyography (DQEMG) allows for the collection of motor unit potentials (MUPs) over a broad range of force levels. Given the size principle of motor unit recruitment, it may be necessary to control for force when using DQEMG for the purpose of deriving a motor unit number estimate (MUNE). Therefore, this study was performed to examine the effect of force on the physiological characteristics of concentric needle- and surface-detected MUPs and the subsequent impact on MUNEs obtained from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle sampled using DQEMG. Maximum M waves were elicited in 10 subjects with supramaximal stimulation of the ulnar nerve at the wrist. Intramuscular and surface-detected EMG signals were collected simultaneously during 30-s voluntary isometric contractions performed at specific percentages of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Decomposition algorithms were used to identify needle-detected MUPs and their individual MU firing times. These MU firing times were used as triggers to extract their corresponding surface-detected MUPs (S-MUPs) using spike-triggered averaging. A mean S-MUP was then calculated, the size of which was divided into the maximum M-wave size to derive a MUNE. Increased levels of contraction had a significant effect on needle- and surface-detected MUP size, firing rate, and MUNE. These results suggest that force level is an important factor to consider when performing quantitative EMG, including MUNEs with this method.
    Muscle & Nerve 04/2005; 31(3):365-73. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • 01/2003;
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    ABSTRACT: Eleven acute radial nerve palsies were examined between 3 days and 14 weeks following the onset of the neuropathy. Our objective was to quantify the relative extent of axon loss and conduction block in radial motor fibers supplying the extensor and abductor pollicis longus (EPL/APL) muscles. In 10 of 11 cases, conduction block exceeded axon loss. Maximum motor and sensory conduction velocities were normal distal to the spiral groove, suggesting that the larger myelinated fibers were not selectively involved in this acute neuropathy. The localization of the conduction block and slowing was, in every case, across the spiral groove. This method provides a relatively simple way of assessing the approximate contributions of axon loss and conduction block, and fits well with the early and usually complete clinical recovery in these cases.
    Muscle & Nerve 06/1992; 15(7):768 - 773. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • William F. Brown, Anh X. Nguyen, Bradley V. Watson