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January 1985


Arch Neurol. 1985;42(1):80. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060010086023

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Few tests enjoy the exploding popularity of evoked potentials (EP). Part of the reason lies in their ability to detect sensory abnormalities and to localize, objectify, and quantify these abnormalities, even when the patient's history and physical examination are normal. The usefulness of EP in demonstrating subclinical lesions in multiple sclerosis is well established, and all contributors to this controversy agree on the potential usefulness of EP in other diseases. The contributors also agree that proper interpretation of the tests requires extensive experience, Chiappa and Young suggesting a minimum of six months fulltime training beyond a residency in neurology, neurosurgery, or the equivalent. The main issue of debate is whether EPs have become "routine before their time" in Kimura's phrase. Given that the technique is still evolving, that the origin of several of the EP waves is unknown or in doubt, and that EP findings are nonspecific, it follows that

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