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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate Studies


Electrical injury is known to alter the normal physiological function of nerves. In most cases, the change in function is only minor, but in severe instances the physiological function may be lost entirely. The changes in function involve the ability of the nerve to transmit an impulse, which is a function of the nerve's ability to create and maintain an electrical gradient across its membrane. When the nerve is exposed to an electrical current, the ability to maintain an electrical gradient across the membrane is reduced or lost. This change may be transient or permanent. The changes in the gradient hinder the nerve from propagating the impulse, which is the means of information transfer to and from the CNS (central nervous system). Due to the manner in which human victims are typically exposed to an electric shock, the peripheral axons usually display the greatest change in physiological function.



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