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Focal neurological deficits
Alternative namesNeurological deficits - focal
A focal neurologic deficit is a problem in nerve function that affects either:
The problem occurs in the brain or nervous system. It may result in a loss of movement or sensation. The type, location, and severity of the change can indicate the area of the brain or nervous system that is affected.
In contrast, a non-focal problem is NOT specific -- such as a general loss of consciousness .
ConsiderationsFocal neurologic changes can include any function. Sensation changes include paresthesia (abnormal sensations), numbness, or decreases in sensation. Movement changes include paralysis , weakness , loss of muscle control, increased muscle tone, and loss of muscle tone .
Other types of focal loss of functions include:
Home CareHome care depends on the type and the cause of neurologic loss. (See the specific causative disorder.)
Call your health care provider if
If any loss of movement , sensation, or function occurs, you should call your health care provider.
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting neurological deficits in detail may include:
Diagnostic tests vary depending on other symptoms and the suspected cause of the nerve function loss.
After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to focal neurological deficits to your personal medical record.
Update Date: 5/8/2003Elaine T. Kiriakopoulos, M.D., M.Sc., Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT