Neurological exam: The neurological exam refers to a preliminary set of tests performed on a patient in order to gather information on his/her mental state, sensory system, nervous system, and motor functions. Based on the neurological exam results, the physician will then decide if additional tests are necessary. Additional tests may include CT scans, MRI scans, x-ray scans, blood work, and other laboratory tests. Neurological exams are usually done at the doctor’s office but may be done bedside if needed. These exams can also be repeated throughout the course of a patient’s treatment as a way of checking on the patient’s progress.
The following is a basic list of what a neurological exam may include. This list does not act as a substitute for an actual test conducted by a physician:1
- Reflex tests – checks a patient’s gag reflexes, reflex to a knee tap, etc.
- Balance and coordination tests
- Sensory tests – checks a patient’s sense of touch, smell, sight, etc.
- Facial muscle tests
- Mental status tests – asks a patient to answer basic questions
- Memory tests
- 1Neurological Exam. American Brain Tumor Association. [http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/diagnosis/neurological-exam.html]