The various functions of the peripheral nerve are not uniformly affected in the peripheral neuropathy accompanying alcoholism and other conditions leading to disturbed nutrition. With regard to sensation, it has been observed that modalities which are eventually to be carried in the posterior columns, and which are newer in the developmental (phylogenetic) scale, are likely to be impaired earlier and more severely. Neurologic textbooks1 note that light touch, position and vibration senses are relatively severely affected, while pain sense may be either fairly well preserved or, more commonly, preserved in a "paradoxic" form.
In this paper we have attempted to correlate these observations with certain experimental, clinical and metabolic data.
The most extensive attempt to group fibers in the peripheral nerves on a functional basis was that of Head,2 who divided sensation into the following types:
Epicritic sensation: This includes light touch sensation over hairless
WORTIS H, STEIN MH, JOLLIFFE N. FIBER DISSOCIATION IN PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;69(2):222–237. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200140060005