Effect of menthol application to the forearm on tactile sensation and Braille reading accuracy in persons with diabetes-induced visual impairment Mayumi Nakada 1 , Kenta Kiyomoto 2 1Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Social Services, Saitama Prefectural University 2Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Science, Japan Health Care College Keyword: 糖尿病 , 視覚障害 , (メントール) , (点字触読) , (求心路遮断) , Diabetes , Blind , Menthol , Braille , Topical cutaneous anesthesia pp.581-590
Published Date 2017/12/15
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 Purpose of the study: To examine the effect of menthol application to the forearm on fingertip tactile perception and Braille reading accuracy in subjects with diabetic visual impairment. Study design: A repeated measurement controlled study. Methods: Researchers applied a topical menthol patch to the forearms of twelve vision-impaired people with diabetes. The arm the subjects used for reading Braille became the experimental arm and received the menthol patch. As a control, a placebo patch was applied to the contralateral side. Examination of sensory function both before and after application of both patches took place. Accuracy of Braille identification was recorded. Results: After application of menthol patches, tactile threshold on the forearm increased significantly. Researchers observed improved tactile gnosis/discrimination of fingers. Accuracy of Braille identification also improved. Conclusion: This study suggests that application of menthol to the forearm of diabetic persons with vision and tactile sensory problems is a helpful adjunct to facilitate the ability to read Braille. Further methodological studies and studies to investigate the cortical mechanisms are needed.

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