What is the essential neurological examination?

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2012 Dec;70(12):939-41. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2012001200007.


In order to determine which aspects would be essential to the neurological examination (NE) in a given specific situation (a patient referred with a potential neurological complaint, but the history suggests that a neurological problem is unlikely), we presented the same questionnaire used by Moore and Chalk in Canada to 19 neurologists in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We considered significant aspects of NE, whose average responses were greater than or equal to 3.5: visual fields, fundoscopy, pursuit eye movements, facial muscle power testing, gait, pronator drift or rapid arm movement in upper limbs, finger-nose, tone in arms and legs, five tendon reflexes, and plantar responses. We concluded that, despite geographical and economical differences between Brazil and Canada, neurologists from both countries agree about the essential NE in the proposed scenario.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neurologic Examination / methods*
  • Neurologic Examination / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires