The use of the optacon as a screening device. A new technique for detecting sensory loss in individuals exposed to neurotoxins

J Occup Med. 1980 Jul;22(7):461-4.


Periphral neuropathy is one of the most common nervous system reactions to toxic chemicals. Early detection signs of peripheral neuropathy among workers exposed to these chemicals is of paramount concern to occupational physicians. This study describes the use of the Optacon to to assess finger-tip sensation in normal and diabetic subjects. The instrument is capable of detecting the steady increase in threshold with age and is able to identify peripheral neuropathy in diabetic subjects. There was little variation upon repeated testing of the same subject. This study illustrates the usefulness of the Optacon as as a simple, reliable technique for detecting sensory loss in individuals with peripheral neuropathy, and suggests that it may be useful in detecting sensory loss in workers exposed to neurotoxins.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurotoxins / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Touch / drug effects


  • Neurotoxins