For purposes of comparison with the degenerating fibers of nerves and roots from monkeys killed during the acute stage of poliomyelitis, it was deemed advisable to study by physiologic and histologic methods normal nerves severed from their cells of origin. Certain histologic changes occurring during the degeneration of cut nerves are well known, but increasing knowledge of the physiology of the fiber types makes possible a more detailed correlation, than has been made thus far, between histologic and functional changes during the course of degeneration.
When the action potential after conduction is recorded by means of the cathode-ray oscillograph, a series of waves is depicted. It has been shown by Bishop and Heinbecker1 that it is possible to correlate the form of the recorded action potential with the fiber content of the nerve trunk in a manner permitting recognition of the essential fiber type responsible for each potential component.
HEINBECKER P, BISHOP GH, O'LEARY JL. NERVE DEGENERATION IN POLIOMYELITISIII. RATE OF DEPRESSION AND DISAPPEARANCE OF COMPONENTS OF CONDUCTED ACTION POTENTIAL IN SEVERED NERVES; CORRELATION WITH HISTOLOGIC DEGENERATION IN GROUPS OF FIBERS RESPONSIBLE FOR VARIOUS COMPONENTS. Arch NeurPsych. 1932;27(6):1421-1435. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02230180150009