OF NEUROLOGICAL SIGNS
A DICTIONARY OF
MA, MD, MRCP(UK), DHMSA
Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool
Honorary Lecturer in Neuroscience, University of Liverpool
Society of Apothecaries’ Honorary Lecturer in the
History of Medicine, University of Liverpool
A.J. Larner, MA, MD, MRCP(UK), DHMSA
Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Library of Congress Control Number: 2005927413
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To Philippa, Thomas, and Elizabeth
“ ... there are many works useful and even necessary, which require
no genius at all; anddictionary making is one of these.”
James Burnet, Lord Monboddo.
Of the origin and progress of language: 1773-1792: V, 273
“I know ... that Writers of Travels, like Dictionary-Makers, are
sunk into Oblivion by the Weight and Bulk of those who come
after, and therefore lie uppermost.”
Gulliver’s Travels: 1726
FOREWORD TO THE FIRST EDITION
Neurology has always been adiscipline in which careful physical examination is paramount. The rich vocabulary of neurology replete with
eponyms attests to this historically. The decline in the importance of
the examination has long been predicted with the advent of more
detailed neuroimaging. However, neuroimaging has often provided a
surfeit of information from which salient features have to be identified,
dependentupon the neurological examination. A dictionary of neurological signs has a secure future.
A dictionary should be informative but unless it is unwieldy, it cannot
be comprehensive, nor is that claimed here. Andrew Larner has
decided sensibly to include key features of the history as well as the
examination. There is no doubt that some features of the history can
strike one with the force of aphysical sign. There are entries for
“palinopsia” and “environmental tilt” both of which can only be
elicited from the history and yet which have considerable significance.
There is also an entry for the “head turning sign” observed during the
history taking itself as well as the majority of entries relating to details
of the physical examination.
This book is directed to students and will bevaluable to medical students, trainee neurologists, and professions allied to medicine.
Neurologists often speak in shorthand and so entries such as
“absence” and “freezing” are sensible and helpful. For the more
mature student, there are the less usual as well as common eponyms to
entice one to read further than the entry which took you first to the
Martin N. Rossor