Sat. May 28th, 2022

How does a mind contemplate itself? That’s a philosophical question I’ll leave to minds smarter than mine, but what I can tell you is how to examine the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

Most people are familiar with how doctors examine a heart or set of lungs. The physical exam of these organs consists mainly of using a stethoscope to listen to them in action. But when it comes to examining components of the nervous system–consisting of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles–a stethoscope is pretty useless. The nervous system doesn’t make sounds that the doctor can listen to (though the arteries in the neck that deliver blood to the brain can be usefully listened to). But because people can have medical disorders that damage the nervous system, it is every bit as important to have a method for evaluating this organ as for any othe CISM certification cost r.

The method is called the neurological exam. Because different parts of the nervous system do different things, the basic idea of the neurological exam is to put the patient through a number of mini-exams, each evaluating the function of a different component. And what a variety of functions there are! In fact, apart from exposure to an inspiring teacher, this is what drew me into the study of neurology in the first place–the sheer diversity of the neurological exam.

This is an organ responsible for jobs as diverse as thinking, remembering, smelling, tasting, seeing, hearing, speaking, moving, walking, balancing, feeling and, yes, even contemplating itself–though I confess that my neurological exam doesn’t include an assessment of self-contemplation. Moreover, the nervous system handles many infrastructure tasks like controlling body-temperature, pulse, blood-pressure, breathing and enabling a person to urinate at a time and place of their choosing. What’s not to admire about an organ system that can do so many things!

By admin

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