Visual evoked magnetic responses (VEMR) to flash and pattern reversal stimulation
The problems of using a single channel magnetometer (BTi, Model 601) in an unshielded clinical environment to measure visual evoked magnetic responses (VEMR) were studied. VEMR to flash and pattern reversal stimuli were measured in 100 normal subjects. Two components, the P100M to pattern reversal and P2M to flash, were measured successfully in the majority of patients. The mean latencies of these components in different decades of life were more variable than the visual evoked potentials (VEP) that have been recorded these stimuli. The latency of the P100M appeared to increase significantly after about 55 years of age whereas little change occurred for the flash P2. Variations in blur, check size, stimulus size and luminance intensity on the latency and amplitude of the VEMR were studied. Blurring a small (32') check significantly increased latency whereas blurring a large (70') check had little effect on latency. Increasing check size significantly reduced latency of the P100M but had little effect on amplitude. Increasing the field size decreases the latency and increases the amplitude of the P100M. Within a normal subject, most of the temporal variability of the P100M appeared to be associated with run to run variation rather than between recording sessions on the same day or between days. Reproducibility of the P100M was improved to a degree by employing a magnetically shielded room. Increasing flash intensity decreases the latency and increases the amplitude of the P2M component. The magnitude of the effects of varying stimulus parameters on the VEMR were frequently greater than is normally seen in the VEP. The topography of the P100M and P2M varied over the scalp in normal subjects. In addition, full field responses to a large check could be explained approximately as the sum of the half field responses and were consistent with the cruciform model of the visual cortex. Preliminary source localisation data suggested a shallower source in the visual cortex for the flash P2M compared with the P100M. The data suggest that suitable protocols could be devised to obtain normative data of sufficient quality to use the VEMR to flash and pattern clinically.