Advertisement

How are the face, tongue, and throat examined in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Louis Rosner
Neurology
Testing for sensory loss and weakness in face, tongue, and throat is done by touching with cotton and a pin and by watching the muscles move. Facial movements are also observed as the patient is asked to smile, pucker the lips, puff the cheeks, wrinkle the nose, squeeze the eyes closed, and elevate the eyebrows. The doctor may find sensory loss or weakness on one side of the face, but neither is diagnostic of multiple sclerosis (MS) unless combined with other, more typical signs. Numbness and weakness of the back of the throat are tested in two ways: when the patient is asked to say "ah" and when the gag reflex is checked with a tongue depressor. This, along with numbness and weakness of the tongue, is rare in MS and more suggestive of some other disorder.
Multiple Sclerosis

More About this Book

Multiple Sclerosis

Too often, multiple sclerosis is thought of only as "the crippler of young adults." But in fact, 75 percent of all people with MS will never need a wheelchair. In Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Louis J....

Continue Learning about Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Can Alternative Therapies Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis?
Can Alternative Therapies Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis?
Many MS patients are looking for an extra advantage in managing symptoms or slowing disease progression. Watch neurologist Charles Smith, MD, explain ...
Read More
Can herbs help treat multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationMultiple Sclerosis Foundation
Adding healthy herbs and supplements to any diet can improve overall motor and cognitive functioning...
More Answers
What should I know before taking dimethyl fumarate?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Your doctor will need to check your white blood cell count before and after you take dimethyl fumara...
More Answers
How Can Exercise Help Me Manage Multiple Sclerosis?
How Can Exercise Help Me Manage Multiple Sclerosis?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.