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Movement, vision, balance, and sensation in diagnosing multiple sclerosis

The doctor will look for injury to the 12 pairs of nerves in the head (cranial nerves) that relate to:

  • Sense of smell.
  • Sense of taste.
  • Vision.
  • Eye movement.
  • Sensation in the face and scalp.
  • Muscle coordination in the face and neck.
  • Hearing and balance.
  • Swallowing and the gag reflex.
  • Movement of the tongue.

To evaluate muscle strength, the doctor will have you push with the arms and legs against the doctor's hand. Dexterity, muscle tone, and muscle control will also be tested.

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You will be examined for the ability to:

  • Feel pain (a pinprick), a light touch, temperature, and vibration (a tuning fork).
  • Sense the position of the arms or legs.

Also, your reflexes will be tested.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Last Revised February 18, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 18, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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