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Nervous System Assessment

Most of us go through a medical exam or physical on a routine basis in order to monitor our state of health and help identify problems early. A number of the tests performed during a routine physical test the function of the nervous system. For this week's forum, think about your routine physical exam and list the tests performed to check the function of your nervous system.

After you complete your list, select one diagnostic test and describe it in detail. What parts of the nervous system are being tested? What is the normal result of the test?

Solution Preview

During a routine physical examination, a doctor asks several questions and performs several tests to assess our nervous system. Here is a list of things a physician might do:
The doctor will tap certain areas like the biceps, triceps, patellar and Achilles tendons to assess reflexes.
He or she may assess the strength of extremities by asking a patient to move them simultaneously against resistance, for example raising both arms or shoulders while the doctor presses down.
To assess balance, a doctor might ask a patient to stand on one leg without assistance.
To assess sensory nerves, a doctor might take a pencil and ...

Solution Summary

This is a 400+ word summary of the various tests used to check the cranial nerves and a few peripheral nerves.