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Introduction
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Indications for a Cranial Nerve Screen

There are a variety of situations where cranial nerve examination and evaluation are indicated. There are also an equal or greater number of situations where cranial nerve assessments are either not indicated or are of lesser importance when compared to other tests and measures. A key factor in the determination of whether or not to perform a cranial nerve examination and evaluation is the presence or absence of specific symptoms or red flags. A list of common indications for performing cranial nerve examination and evaluation is provided below.

  • Alterations in balance, especially when looking up or with closed eyes
  • Altered or poor coordination
  • Buzzing in ears
  • Cervical pain and/or dysfunction
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep-wake cycles
  • Change or alteration in sense of hearing
  • Change or alteration in sense of sight
  • Change or alteration in sense of smell
  • Change or alteration in sense of taste
  • Decreased strength
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Headaches or dorsal neck pain
  • History of head and/or neck trauma
  • History of falling
  • Muscle wasting
  • Night sweats
  • Night pain
  • Paresthesia
  • Personality changes
  • Slurred or altered speech patterns

 

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Section: Introduction
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Page 4 of 9
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