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.

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.

Last Updated: February 18, 2010

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