Decrement of N20 amplitude of the median nerve somatosensory evoked potential in creutzfeldt-jakob disease patients

Y. Shiga, H. Seki, A. Onuma, H. Shimizu, Y. Itoyama

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We studied somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) in eight CreutzfeldtJakob disease (CJD) patients presenting with subacute progressive dementia, generalized myoclonus, and characteristic periodic sharp wave complexes in EEG. Somatosensory evoked potentials were elicited by median nerve stimulation at the wrist. We compared SSEP findings with EEG and the clinical stage proposed by the Japanese Slow Virus Infection Research Committee (stage 1: early stage to stage 5: terminal stage). Until clinical stage 3, short-latency SSEPs showed normal findings despite the severely abnormal EEG. With the progression to clinical stages 4 and 5, however, the amplitude of N20 began to decrease and finally disappeared without prolongation of the latency of N20, whereas other short-latency components were preserved. We recorded giant SSEPs in two of three patients in stage 4, when the periodic sharp wave complex in EEG began to decrease in amplitude. The giant SSEPs decreased in amplitude with the progression of the illness. These findings suggest that the short-latency SSEP is relatively preserved until the middle phase of the disease but that it is eventually affected in the terminal phase. We conclude that our results are compatible with the CJD pathologic findings and that the amplitude of N20 reflects the extent of cortical damage in CJD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-582
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical stage
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Giant SEP
  • Short-latency somatosensory evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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