Analysis of the brainstem auditory evoked potentials in neurological disease
Many phenomena in the BAEP are difficult to explain on the basis of the accepted hypothesis of its origin (after Jewett, 1970). The alternative mechanism of origin to which these phenomena point is summation of oscillations. Therefore, simulation of the BAEP by a mathematical model consisting of the addition of four sine waves was tested. The model did simulate a normal BAEP as well variations in the waveform produced by reversing click polarity. This simulation gives further clues to the origin of the BAEP. The four sine waves begin simultaneously; corresponding BAEP oscillations must, therefore, originate from a single structure. These oscillations begin in less than half a millisecond after the click. This suggests that the structure from which they arise is outside the brainstem. This alternative mechanism indicates that wave latencies do not reflect nervous conduction between discrete nuclei, and interpretation of BAEP abnormality need to be reconsidered. It also implies that mathematical frequency analysis is more appropriate, but this could be applied only when these methods have been perfected. Meanwhile, through visual analysis and recognition of oscillations, abnormality can be detected and described in terms that may have physiological significance.