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Axonal excitability: molecular basis and assessment in the clinic 

Axonal excitability: molecular basis and assessment in the clinic
Axonal excitability: molecular basis and assessment in the clinic

Susanna B. Park

, Cindy S-Y. Lin

, and Matthew C. Kiernan

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date: 17 May 2022

Axonal excitability techniques were developed to assess axonal resting membrane potential and ion channel function in vivo, and thereby provide greater molecular understanding of the activity of voltage gated ion channels and ion pumps underlying nerve and membrane function. Axonal excitability studies provide complimentary information to conventional nerve conduction studies, using submaximal stimuli to examine the properties underlying the excitability of the axon. Such techniques have been developed both as a research technique to examine disease pathophysiology and as a clinical investigation technique. This chapter provides an overview of axonal excitability techniques, addressing the role of key ion channels and pumps in membrane function and highlighting examples of clinical case studies, where such techniques have been utilized, including motor neuronopathies, tracking progression of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and assessing treatment response in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

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