2. General Exam

Transcript Area

Although there are some variations in assessment style among clinicians, we describe the neurologic exam here in a fairly conventional format consisting of the following six subdivisions:

  1. Mental Status
  2. Cranial Nerves
  3. Motor Exam
  4. Reflexes
  5. Coordination and Gait
  6. Sensory Exam

Each of these subdivisions can be explored in greater detail on this site, using the links above.

A unique feature of the neurologic exam is that it tests function. Each part of the neurologic exam should be used to titrate the patient’s level of function. To do this, the experienced clinician employs several tests for each part of the exam, ranging from the easiest to the most difficult. It is crucial to then record the tests a patient can or cannot perform. This allows comparison with subsequent examinations so that changes in the patient’s status can be determined accurately.