A neurological examination is the assessment of sensory neuron and motor responses, especially reflexes, to determine whether the nervous system is impaired This typically includes a physical examination and a review of the patient's medical history but not deeper investigation such as neuroimaging. It can be used both as a screening tool and as an investigative tool, the former of which when examining the patient when there is no expected neurological deficit and the latter of which when examining a patient where you do expect to find abnormalities. If a problem is found either in an investigative or screening process then further tests can be carried out to focus on a particular aspect of the nervous system (such as lumbar punctures and blood tests).
In general, a neurological examination is focused on finding out whether there are lesions in the central and peripheral nervous systems or there is another diffuse process that is troubling the patient.[Once the patient has been thoroughly tested, it is then the role of the physician to determine whether these findings combine to form a recognizable medical syndrome or neurological disorder such as Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease. Finally, it is the role of the physician to find the etiological reasons for why such a problem has occurred, for example finding whether the problem is due to inflammation or is congenital.