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February 1942


Author Affiliations


From the Neuropsychiatric Division of the Third (New York University) Division of Welfare Hospital; the Medical Service of the Psychiatric Division, Bellevue Hospital, and the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, New York University College of Medicine

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;69(2):222-237. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200140060005

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.

FIBER TYPES  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:

  1. Epicritic sensation: This includes light touch sensation over hairless

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