Glossary of disorders of somatic sensation

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abnormal spontaneous sensations, such as burning, tingling, or pins and needles
any unpleasant sensation produced by a stimulus that is usually painless
often used by pts to describe a sense of heaviness, weakness, or deadness in affected body part- and sometimes to signify any sensory impairment
a tactile or painful stimulus delivered on the side of hemisensory loss is experienced in a corresponding area of the opposite side
complete loss of touch appreciation
increased sensitivity to touch appreciation
misperception of a trivial tactile sensation as pain; or more generally, when one stimulus evokes another type of sensation
complete loss of pain perception
partial loss of pain perception
hyperalgesia or hyperpathia
increased sensitivity to pain perception
loss of vibratory sense
loss of temperature sensation
primary sensory modalities
light touch
pinprick and temp
deep pressure
joint position
Romberg's test
pt assumes a steady stance w/ feet together, arms outstretched, and eyes closed. observe for sway or fall. positive test indicative of grossly impaired joint position sense in legs
two point discrimination
pt indicates if he has been touched by one or two compass points, while distance is varied in order to determine shortest distance at which they are recognized as 2 points
inability to identify a number traced on the skin on palm of hand despite normal cutaneous sensation; implies lesion of contralat PL
inability to distinguish b/w various shapes or textures
inability to distinguish b/w different weights
complex sensory fxs
Romberg's test, 2-pt discrim, graphesthesia, stereognosis, abarognosis, bilateral sensory discrimination
mononeuropathy simplex
involvement of a single peripheral nerve
mononeuropathy multiplex
several individual nerves are affected, usu at random and noncontiguously
fx of multiple peripheral nerves is affected at the same time.
distal axonopathies
axon is principal pathologic target (most polyneuropathies)
conditions involving myelin sheath
principally affect nerve cell bodies in the anterior horn of the SC or dorsal root ganglion
etiologies of peripheral nerve lesions
hereditary, inflammatory d/o, neurotoxic exposure, metabolic d/o, neoplasm, connective tissue d/o, AIDS
peripheral nerve pain
usually localized to region affected pathologically
-burning quality when sensory nerve involved; motor deficit if motor nerve involved.
(peripheral nerve pain)
severe, persistent pain, often burning in quality, that results from nerve trauma. oft radiates to greater territory than served by affected nerve. assoc w/ exquisite tenderness
(periph nerve pain)
reflex sympathetic dystrophy
sympathetically mediated pain syndromes precipitated by wide range of tissue injuries. intense pain out of proportion to injury that gets worse over time.
radicular pain
localization: distribution of one or more nerve roots. often exacerbated by sneezing, coughing, other maneuvers that increase intraspinal pressure; also maneuvers that stretch the affected roots.
thalamic pain
can lead to pain in all or part of the contralat half of body; pain of burning nature w/ particular unpleasant quality. aggravated by emotional stress. tends to dvlp when recovering from sensory deficit caused by underlying thalamic lesion. mild cutaneous sensation can produce unpleasant/painful sensations
Dejerine-Roussy syndrome
thalamic pain with a combination of sensory loss, spontaneous pain, and perverted cutaneous sensation.
low back pain
trauma, prolapsed disk, infections, neoplastic disease, paget disease, osteoporosis, arachnoiditis, referred pain, others...

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