F-waves in the extremities result from the backfiring of antidromically activated anterior horn cells and F-waves of the mentalis muscle can be also elicited after stimulation of the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve. In order to investigate the influence of the descending pathway of the excitability of the facial motonucleus, the F-wave of the mentalis muscle and the facilitated late response, which follows F-waves and which seems to be the snout reflex due to their similar latency and habituation, were studied in 11 conscious patients with a hemispheric cerebrovascular accident (CVA) presenting with hemiparesis, and in 10 unconscious patients with CVA or head injury. The duration and the persistence of the F-waves increased significantly statistically on the normal side in the CVA patients compared with those of the palsy side and the normal subjects. In comatose patients the F-waves and the facilitated late response were not elicited. The latency (46.1 ± 13.3 msec) of the facilitated late responses in the unconscious patients tended to increase compared with the latency (36.6 ± 4.3 msec) in the conscious patients. These findings suggest that the hyperexcitability of the facial motoneuron is ipsilateral to any hemispheric lesion; the hemispheric lesion exerts a bilateral excitatory influence on the interneuron of the facilitated late response: and that the reticular formation may influence the facial motoneuron and any interneurons concerned in the facilitated late response. F-waves and facilitated late responses should be further examined as neurophysiologically useful diagnostic methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology