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How does a neurological exam help diagnose overactive bladder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
A neurological exam may be done to assess your brain function and illnesses such as Parkinson's disease. Some neurological disorders are contributing factors to overactive bladder symptoms. Also, people who suffer from depression and anxiety tend to be more prone to overactive bladder.
An overactive bladder usually results in the production of frequent urinations of a relatively small volume. Also frequent bladder urges to urinate occur. Sometimes these problems result in spontaneous uncontrolled release of urine (incontinence).
Since the brain, spinal cord, and nerves to the bladder are very important in bladder control, a neurological evaluation can be helpful in investigating such a problem.
With a brain or spinal cord problem there may be additional symptoms suggestive of a nervous system problem. These may include weakness of the limbs, numbness/tingling of the limbs, erectile dysfunction, constipation, difficulty with balance or coordination.
Therefore the neurological exam may reveal abnormalities of the reflexes, muscles, sensation, coordination, balance, gait, etc. that may indicate a neurological basis for the bladder problem.

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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.