The clinical characteristics and electrophysiological data between the two groups were compared using standard (unpaired) statistical t-test procedures to assess differences between means and proportions [9]. For the electrophysiological parameters in which the samples were small we also employed permutation tests to compare the mean of two populations [15]. Because of their flexibility and minimal assumptions, results from this non-parametric approach are compared with the standard statistical t-test which requires more restrictive distributional assumptions for the data. For statistical comparisons we considered the following test specifications: (1) the null hypothesis represents the “no difference” situation and the alternative represents an “upper tailed” specification, i.e. it is assumed that the mean/proportion in the C-AIDP group is greater than the mean/proportion of S-AIDP; (2) the null hypothesis represents the “no difference” situation and the alternative represents a “lower tailed” specification, i.e. it is assumed that the mean/proportion in the C-AIDP group is smaller than the mean/proportion of S-AIDP; (3) no upper or lower tailed version of the test is assumed and we simply assume that the population means are different. Finally, as for test interpretation, when the two-sided P-value is less than the conventional 0.05 the conclusion is that there is a significant difference between the means/proportions. Similarly, values smaller than 0.05 for the one-sided test, also represent statistically significant results.

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