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Nerve conduction Velocity
Nerve conduction velocity testing is used to detect nerve damage. The technician places small patches on the skin, called electrodes, which give electrical impulses to stimulate the nerve. The electrical activity of the nerve is recorded, and the time it takes the electrical signal to travel between two electrodes is also recorded and is used to calculate the velocity, or speed, of nerve conduction.

The nerve conduction velocity is related to the diameter of the nerve and the amount of myelination, the amount of myelin sheath enveloping the axon of the nerve. Myelin sheath is a fatty covering which helps to insulate the nerve axon, much like the rubber coating around a copper wire, preserving the nerve’s impulse and increasing the nerve’s conduction velocity.
Therefore, abnormal results are due to damage to the nerve’s axon, loss of the myelin covering, or due to a conduction block along the nerve’s pathway. Such damage can commonly be caused traumatic injury to the nerve, diabetic neuropathy, alcoholic neuropathy, and carpal tunnel syndrome among other causes.
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