Assessment and testing of upper motor neuron (UMN) lesions

Is the Babinski test still the most reliable?

In the Central Nervous System (CNS), the nerves that carry the information for motor movement are called upper motor neurons (UMN). Movement that is voluntary, is located on the pyramidal track, and the cell bodies of these pyramidal tracks are located in the cerebral cortex of the brain.

From a clinical standpoint, when a patient has suffered an injury to the head, clinicians want to be able to test for any impairments in these parts of the brain or tracts (UMN lesions) by using clinical tests.

The current article highlights options for testing, and demonstrates the validity of common tests such as the Babinski test and finger and toe tapping tests to detect UMN lesions.

 
 

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