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Test for Diabetic Neuropathy

By Samuel Kolodney 2 years ago 910 Views No comments

Diabetic neuropathy when gone unchecked can have devastating consequences including ulcerative wounds and even limb amputation. Improvement in the rates of self-care and home testing for diabetic neuropathy can have a dramatic impact on individual health outcomes.

Pinprick sensation testing using the technique recommended in the ADA's guidelines to detect diabetic neuropathy and when performed with a Medipin, it is probably the easiest test for patients to do in the home.

Why Use Medipin?

The optimal pinprick test generates as acute a sense of sharpness as possible without increasing the risk of skin penetration. For decades, since the work of the likes of De Castillo, Katz, Miledi and others, we have understood the neurophysiology of these stimuli. Pinprick is not truly about physical sharpness at all. A hypodermic needle is very sharp – a blade really – and as such and in the right hands can be almost painless. On the other hand, sharp stimulation acuity is all about skin stretch and contact demarcation of the point and its surfaces of contact.

Medipin is an FDA listed, dedicated device which has been in regular use by US Doctors for many years, as well has having been employed successfully in quite a number of international medical studies. It utilizes a well demarcated but blunted pyramidal point in order to exploit the stretching phenomenon. As well as being intended to reduce the risk of skin penetration this stretching actually heightens the sense of pinprick. This heightened sensation is then augmented by the surrounding annulus in which the point is situated that creates a perimeter of duller sensation to exploit the cortical phenomenon of lateral neural inhibition.

Lateral inhibition, is the phenomenon that suppresses information form areas of perception bordering those that more vividly garner cortical stimulation to evoke discrete boundaries and delineations. This is the same phenomenon that fools us in optical illusions and is leveraged here by positioning Medipin’s well demarcated point at the center of an area of duller stimulation created by the annulus. Effectively the Medipin device generates the perception a localized center surround field effect which further enhances the sharp element at its’ center whilst surrounding neurons are inhibited to further augment perception of the point. This tricks the brain in to perceiving greater pain than the stimulus would otherwise warrant.

This means more acute stimulation at lesser contact pressure. Or, in layman’s terms more pain sensation with no actual harm.

Learn more about Medipin for home self-care testing

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