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‘Pins and Needles'


IT is well known that the release of a constricting cuff, which is cutting off the blood-supply to a part of a limb, may be followed by the complex sensation known as ‘pins and needles' but there has been some controversy as to which part of the nerve or its branches is giving rise to the nerve impulses. Lewis et al.1 and Zotterman2 believed that the region of the nerve lying under the cuff was mainly concerned, whereas Weddell and Sinclair3 argue that the sensation "is due to the stimulation of a proportion of the peripheral nerve endings in the area in which it is felt". Some new experiments to be described give results which appear incompatible with either of these views.

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  1. 1

    Lewis, T., Pickering, G. W., and Rothschild, P., Heart, 16, 1 (1931).

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  2. 2

    Zotterman, Y., Acta Med. Scand., 80, 185 (1933).

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  3. 3

    Weddell, G., and Sinclair, D. C., J. Neurol., 10, 26 (1947).

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GORDON, G. ‘Pins and Needles'. Nature 162, 742–743 (1948).

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