The symptoms of neurological defects can be either subtle or profound. Neurological defects can develop as a result of traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke. If your primary care physician suspects that you have neurological defects, he or she may refer you to a brain specialist who will perform a comprehensive examination that includes the following components.
A comprehensive visual examination can be very revealing. During a visual examination, your brain specialist will carefully examine your eyes to look for signs of neurological damage. For example, if your eye examination reveals uneven pupils, your brain specialist may recommend an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
The neurology specialist will also examine your eyes for signs of ptosis, or eye drooping. If one or both of your eyes appears droopy, it may mean that you have a neurological problem associated with a stroke. The neurologist will also look at your hands for signs of tremors. Hand tremors can be indicative of Parkinson's disease or brain damage associated with alcoholism.
In addition to a visual examination, your brain specialist will also perform a physical examination. He or she will perform a hand-grasp exam to determine if one side of your body is weaker than the other. If significant differences in hand strength are apparent, your doctor may recommend further testing to rule out a transient ischemic attack, otherwise known as a TIA or mini-stroke. The physician will also check your reflexes by gently tapping your knee with a reflex hammer.
If your reflexes are sluggish, further examination of your neurological system may be warranted. Your physician will also examine your abdomen by gently pressing on all four quadrants. He or she will also listen to your bowel sounds with a stethoscope.
If your bowel sounds are absent or hypoactive, neurological problems may be responsible. A condition known as gastroparesis refers to the partial paralysis of your stomach which can be caused by neurological disorders. In addition to abnormal bowel sounds, gastroparesis caused by neurological deficits can cause nausea, vomiting, early fullness, loss of appetite, and constipation.
If you believe that you may have a neurological problem, see your physician as soon as possible. In addition to a visual and physical examination, your physician may recommend further medical testing such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. This sophisticated test is a diagnostic imaging procedure that can reveal brain abnormalities caused by neurological diseases and brain damage caused by traumatic injuries. To learn more about neurological testing, contact a company like North Texas Neuroscience Center PA.